Ontario supports several PBCTCO projects to get more women, young people into construction trades
By Anthony Capkun
August 24, 2023 – Ontario is spending $3.6 million to support three projects that aim to help over two thousand women and young people across the province prepare for careers in the construction trades.
Led by the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario (PBCTCO), these programs will focus on increasing female participation in the industry, providing online training tools and exclusive employment opportunities to jobseekers, and giving Grade 12 students a first-hand look at careers in construction.
Women make up less than 5% of Ontario’s construction workforce, says the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development, “meaning many are missing out on a lucrative and in-demand sector”.
The first PBCTO project will focus on helping 700 tradeswomen gain leadership and communications skills, health and safety training, and networking opportunities. It will also include the development of a speaker’s bureau to partner tradeswomen with speaking opportunities at schools, employment agencies, tradeshows, and other events across the province to attract more women to the skilled trades.
The second project will provide 1500 people with access to online resources and training tools where they can explore the skilled trades, build core skills, and find apprenticeship opportunities in their profession of choice by connecting them directly with local employers.
(People interested in learning more about unionized career opportunities in the skilled trades can visit www.ctaontario.ca/explore for more information.)
“The IBEW Construction Council of Ontario applauds Premier Ford’s and Minister McNaughton’s genuine efforts to support and grow Ontario’s unionized construction labour force,” said James Barry, IBEW CCO. “A stronger construction labour force with good enforcement, salaries, pensions, and benefits is good for Ontario.”
Finally, PBCTCO’s Tomorrow’s Trades program is returning, and will provide Grade 12 students in London and Ottawa with hands-on learning opportunities, behind-the-scenes access to high-profile construction projects, and training so they can start preparing for jobs in the industry.
(The program prioritizes at-risk youth, and has previously run in Toronto, Hamilton, Sudbury, and other parts of the province. Transportation and training costs are covered.)
These projects are funded through the government’s Skills Development Fund.