KAWARTHA LAKES-The Ontario government says it is investing $3.6 million to support three projects to help over 2,200 women and young people across Ontario prepare for careers in the construction trades. Led by the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario (PBCTCO), these free 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.
“Under the leadership of Premier Ford, our government will continue to invest in training programs that spread life-changing opportunity to anyone who wants a hand up to a bigger paycheque and a better life,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “We are proud to support these new projects that help women and young people enter the trades and find purpose-driven careers.”
According to the province, women make up less than five per cent of Ontario’s construction workforce, meaning many are missing out on a lucrative and in-demand sector. That is why the first PBCTO project will help 700 tradeswomen gain the leadership, communications, health and safety training, and networking opportunities they need to start and advance rewarding careers in the industry. It will also include the development of a speaker’s bureau to partner tradeswomen with speaking opportunities with schools, employment agencies, trade shows and other events across the province to mentor and attract more women into the skilled trades.
“The Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario appreciates the support of the Government of Ontario to invest in and expand three important projects with the organized skilled trades and our employer partners,” said Marc Arsenault, Business Manager at PBCTCO. “These projects, while all unique, together focus on developing the workforce of the future and expanding opportunities within the skilled trades for equity-seeking groups. As we move forward, this investment supports a fact-based approach to workforce development that will create opportunities for more Ontarians to embark on a great career to build the province we live in.”
The second project will provide 1,500 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, 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. A stronger construction labour force with good enforcement, salaries, pensions, and benefits is good for Ontario.” sais James Barry Executive Secretary-Treasurer, IBEW Construction Council of Ontario.