Ontario boosts funding for apprenticeship training

'It is imperative that employers are supported to continue to train and employ the tradespeople our economy will rely upon'

Ontario boosts funding for apprenticeship training
Apprentices provide essential services and help build the province’s future hospitals, highways and homes, says an Ontario minister.

Ontario is investing $47 million in apprenticeship programs through 2021-22.

The programs will include hiring more apprentices, improving the quality of training and helping people complete their training and certification.

"This is critical investment as our apprentices will be the ones who will help provide essential services and build our future hospitals, highways and homes," says Monte McNaughton, minister of labour, training and skills development. "Through these programs, our government is supporting this important training pipeline, creating the next generation of our skilled workers and providing more young people with opportunity to get good jobs in their communities. Our economic recovery and future growth depends on having a robust skilled workforce."

From the funding, $23 million will be delivered through the Achievement Incentive Program. It will provide over 11,000 employers in the construction, industrial, service and other sectors with up to $4,000 in funding per apprentice as they reach key training milestones. For example, they could receive a $1,000 payment once their apprentice reaches a new in-class training level or receives the highest level of trade certification.

"Employers are an essential participant in the apprenticeship system providing jobs, training and mentorship for our next generation of skilled workers,” says Karen Renkema, vice president, Ontario, Progressive Contractors Association of Canada. “As we begin to recover from the pandemic, it is imperative that employers are supported to continue to train and employ the tradespeople our economy will rely upon."

Ontario is also investing $24 million through the Apprenticeship Capital Grant to help colleges, unions and apprentice training providers upgrade their equipment and facilities. This marks a $10-million increase in funding compared with last year, according to the government.

In December, Ontario announced it was investing $77 million to help workers laid off due to the impact of COVID-19 find in-demand jobs in their local communities.

Last month, the province also encouraged employers to apply for funding for “projects that will help relieve pandemic-induced barriers to hiring, training and retaining workers.”

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