Ontario is creating training Centres

Logan D Suza

The Ontario government is investing an additional $224 million in the construction and enhancement of training centers to assist in addressing the province’s labor shortage and attracting more individuals into lucrative careers in skilled trades. Additionally, the province intends to increase its investment by $75 million over the next three years to support the operations and programming of both new and existing centers that train workers for in-demand occupations like mechanics, electricians, and welders.

“As we build Ontario, we’re providing more women and men with opportunities to begin or advance their careers in the skilled trades,” said Premier Doug Ford. “As our population grows, we’re working hand-in-hand with labour unions, business groups and our colleges and universities to train the skilled workforce that will build the roads, highways, houses, public transit, hospitals and schools our economy needs. It’s all hands on deck.”

The new Skills Development Fund (SDF) capital stream will provide eligible applicants, including unions, Indigenous centers, businesses, and industry associations, with funding to build new training centers or upgrade or convert existing facilities into training centers with cutting-edge design and technology. Applications are expected to open in late spring. Renovations, upgrades, expansions, repairs, and building construction are all included in this category.

“Ontario is facing the largest labour shortage in a generation, which means when you have a career in the skilled trades, you have a career for life,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “Today, we’re supporting employers, unions and other training providers so that they can build and improve the facilities we need to attract and prepare our next generation of skilled trades workers for better jobs and bigger paycheques for themselves and their families.”

Almost 300,000 positions are going unfilled across the region, costing billions in lost efficiency. To address this, the Abilities Advancement Asset capital stream will set out open doors for associations and preparing suppliers to improve and extend their offices.

“LiUNA! 183 fully supports the Ontario Government’s investment in upskilling and re-training our workforce through the Skills Development Fund (SDF),” said Jack Oliveira, business manager of Local 183. “The first three rounds of the SDF were tremendously successful and saw thousands of people receive skills for rewarding careers in industries such as the skilled trades. The newly announced ‘Capital’ stream will ensure that training providers in Ontario have the necessary tools and resources to continue their great work. We are proud to partner with Premier Ford and Minister McNaughton in this initiative.”

To support growth in skilled trades and other in-demand occupations, the government is expanding the province’s training infrastructure through this program. In addition, the investment will support Ontario’s overall productivity while addressing skills training gaps.

“Ontario needs more workers in the skilled trades, especially as our government moves forward with the most ambitious capital plan in the province’s history”, said Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance. “By leveraging the expertise of private sector unions, employers and training providers, we can train and retrain more skilled trades workers to build a strong Ontario.” With support from Infrastructure Ontario, the government is gathering feedback on program design and analysis of this will inform the final design of the program.

The responsible and targeted approach that the government will take to support individuals and businesses while laying a solid economic foundation for future generations will be detailed in Ontario’s 2023 Budget, which will be released on March 23, 2023.

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