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$3.5 million earmarked for student training in skilled trades

November 18, 2022  By Don Horne

Queen’s Park announced it is investing $3.5 million in province-wide training initiatives to help more students launch careers in the skilled trades.

These projects, led by the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario (PBCTCO), will prepare nearly 2,000 young people for jobs in the construction industry, including a path to paid training and union-sponsored apprenticeships.

Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development, announced this investment at the Finishing Trades Institute of Ontario, where he was joined by Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance, PBCTCO Business Manager Marc Arsenault and labour leaders from across Ontario. The PBCTCO brings together 12 leading construction unions with a province-wide membership of 150,000 workers.

“Under the leadership of Premier Ford, our government has a Plan to Build. Whether it’s through the launch of our skilled trades career fairs or innovative projects like this, we’re preparing the next generation of young people for six-figure salaries in in-demand industries,” said Minister McNaughton. “We need all hands on deck to deliver our ambitious infrastructure plans, which is why we’re bringing labour, government and business together to build a stronger Ontario that leaves no one behind.”

The PBCTCO’s Tomorrow’s Trade programs provide training to at-risk youth and allow students to explore lucrative careers in the construction trades, meet industry mentors and develop essential construction sector skills. The programs are available for students in London, Hamilton-Niagara Peninsula, Ottawa, Toronto, Windsor-Sarnia and Sudbury until March 2023.

The investment will also support PBCTCO programs aimed at recruiting people who have traditionally been underrepresented in the construction and skilled trades. Students interested in applying to PBCTO projects are encouraged to reach out to

“The Fall Economic Statement provided good news to the construction trades sector,” said Marc Arsenault, Business Manager and Secretary-Treasurer of the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario. “The new funding pledged towards the Skills Development Fund will help bring training and apprenticeship opportunities to those seeking to join the skilled trades in construction. We applaud Minister McNaughton’s and the Ontario government’s continued efforts to attract new entrants to safe and rewarding careers in Ontario’s construction industry.”

Ontario is also expanding eligibility of the Skills Development Fund, along with an additional $40 million investment, to support more training projects for high-school and postsecondary students. This change takes effect immediately and will help more young people transition from school to rewarding and purpose-driven careers in high-demand sectors and help deliver the province’s ambitious infrastructure plans, including building 1.5 million homes by 2031. Today’s announcement brings Ontario’s total investment in the Skills Development Fund to over $620 million.

“From attracting investments and good jobs, to training thousands of skilled trades workers and helping keep costs down for families, our government’s 2022 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review highlights the significant progress we have made on our Plan to Build,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance. “As we navigate these uncertain economic times, our government is enhancing its plan through new targeted measures that support families, workers, seniors and small businesses.”

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