The Ontario government is investing $11.5 million over four years to improve apprenticeship training, announced the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities Chris Bentley.
The new funds will create 900 more spaces in the Co-op Diploma Apprenticeship Program, which allows students to complete a college diploma while training as an apprentice in nine different skilled trades. This is in addition to the 1,600 spaces created since the program was first announced in 2004.
"By providing more opportunities for students to become apprentices while obtaining a college education, we are helping more Ontarians participate more fully in the economy," said Bentley.
One of the schools to benefit from the program is Fanshawe College in London, Ont., which will receive $1.3 million to create 115 new student spaces in four different trades: automotive service technician, cook, industrial mechanic millwright and truck and coach technician.
"We are very pleased that the government has recognized the need to encourage people into the skilled labour force," said the president of the college Howard Rundle.
Ontario has Canada's largest apprenticeship training system. The government wants to increase the number of new apprentices by 7,000 to a total of 26,000 annually in 2007-2008. It will also introduce a tax credit for employers that hire and train new apprentices.