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CLAC receives $1 million from Ontario to provide virtual training for construction workers


July 12, 2021
By Crane & Hoist Canada Staff

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The Ontario government is providing more than $1 million to help the Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC) union offer 300 construction workers free, online and flexible training for leadership roles such as site supervisors, lead hands, forepersons and superintendents.

This program will help construction sites operate safely and productively, while giving hundreds of current and aspiring leaders an opportunity to grow and move into in-demand positions, according to the province.

Details were provided  by Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, who was joined by Rudy Cuzzetto, MPP for Mississauga-Lakeshore, and Sheref Sabawy, MPP for Mississauga-Erin Mills.

“Construction workers build the homes our families live in, the schools where we learn, and the hospitals and health care centres that care for us,” said Minister McNaughton. “Building the next generation of leaders in this industry, those who will be crucial to moving important projects forward, is essential to our communities and the strength of our economy.”

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“This project will offer workers high-quality training, on their own schedule and from anywhere in our province, so they can advance in their careers and earn more.”

Training can be challenging

Currently, it can be challenging for construction workers to attend multi-day, in-person training due to health and safety restrictions and heavy workloads on work sites.

The new virtual initiative, called the Supervisor Micro-Certification Program, will offer training modules in topics such as health and safety compliance, coaching and mentoring, negotiation, performance evaluation and scheduling. Designed for ease of access, even from mobile devices, this training can be completed at a convenient time and location from anywhere in the province.

“CLAC is thrilled with this funding announcement and looks forward to working with employer partners, the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA), and other industry leaders to develop a leadership program that meets the needs of the modern and mobile learner,” said Colin de Raaf, CLAC Ontario Training Director. “CLAC’s Supervisor Micro-Certification Program will equip current and future on-site leaders with the skills to manage, mentor and coach apprentices and new entrants to construction, in what is a rapidly evolving work environment.”

The Supervisor Micro-Certification Program will run from Oct. 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022. Over time, CLAC will expand course offerings so that emerging superivsors can gain additional support and information.

Quick facts

  • The government invested $1,173,597 towards the Supervisor Micro-Certification Program.
  • For more information on the virtual training project and how to apply, contact Colin de Raaf, CLAC Director of Training at (519) 653-3002 x 5565 or cderaaf@clac.ca.
  • Data suggests that the need to replace retiring workers is greater for skilled trades workers than for other occupations. In 2016, nearly one in three journeypersons were aged 55 years or older.
  • According to Statistics Canada, more than 500,000 people were employed in construction in Ontario in 2020.
  • The median hourly wage rate of constructions supervisors in Ontario in 2020 was $36.20 per hour.
  • In the first quarter of 2021, there were 13,380 job vacancies in the construction sector in Ontario, up from 11,075 in the first quarter of 2020.
  • Ontario’s Skills Development Fund is supported through labour market transfer agreements between the Government of Canada and Government of Ontario.