4-MIL from Ontario to support “current and future construction workers”
By Anthony Capkun
June 21, 2021 – The Ontario government announced it is investing over $4 million in six projects to support current and future construction workers across the province.
Under the auspices of the Provincial Building & Construction Trades Council of Ontario, these projects will promote the trades, train future workers and “ensure that current workers have the right tools and mental health supports they need”.
Among the project in this investment are:
• The Tomorrow’s Trades project will introduce 96 underrepresented youth to the skilled trades in Hamilton, London, Ottawa and Sudbury. This project will include 12 weeks of hands-on training and a 12-week work placement to learn about being electrical workers, and several other construction trades. Upon completion, participants can enter a union-sponsored apprenticeship.
“[The Electrical Contractors’ Association of Ontario] welcomes this program and commits—with our labour partners the IBEW Construction Council of Ontario [IBEW CCO]—to support fully the important work of Tomorrow’s Trades,” said R. Graeme Aitken, ECAO executive director.
• A new Building & Construction Tradeswomen project to attract more women to the trades through marketing and free training.
• The development of a one-stop online learning system for those interested in the construction trades to explore and build essential skills they can apply to apprenticeships in construction.
• A research project at the De Novo Treatment Centre in Huntsville to study and provide support for addiction and suicide issues in the construction industry. This project will develop a report and create tools for training centres, unions, and employers to better understand and address mental health.
The Funding comes as part of the government’s $115-million Skills Development Fund to address challenges to hiring, training and retraining workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“These projects offer a great opportunity for those interested in the trades to explore, experience and get involved in any of the unionized construction skilled trade apprenticeships leading to meaningful careers in Ontario,” said Adam Melnick, program director, Construction Training and Apprenticeship Ontario & Tomorrow’s Trades.