$6 million announced to train 1,000 carpenters, address labour shortage

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

Two projects will share more than $6 million through the Skills Development Fund (SDF) to train more than 1,000 carpenters in Vaughan and across Ontario.

“SDF has been instrumental with supporting the next generation of Ontario’s skilled tradespeople, such as CCAT’s Formwork and Scaffolding Work-Ready Programs. This investment will help recruit, retain and employ the apprentices that will build the future of our province,” said Nicole Ross, executive director – College of Carpenters and Allied Trades.

With about 1,200 carpentry vacancies across Ontario, the two projects will train over 1,000 jobseekers in highly in-demand carpentry fields facing acute labour shortages.

  • Managed by the Carpenters’ Regional Council (CRC), the first project will use $5.5 million to train over 750 jobseekers and apprentices with a combination of on-the-job training and in-class learning, including preparing for their Certificate of Qualification Red Seal exam.
  • Through the College of Carpenters and Allied Trades (CCAT), $894,824 will be used to provide upskilling programs to 312 jobseekers in carpentry skills related to formwork and scaffolding, which are essential in non-residential construction and which are also experiencing an acute labour shortage across Ontario.

“This investment through SDF will continue to fund crucial programs that will continue to grow Ontario’s skilled trades workforce, including the Carpenters’ Union’s Job Readiness Program and Red Seal Exam Prep Program,” said Adam Bridgman, director of training, Carpenters’ Regional Council. “The support these programs have garnered has led to over 500 new workers starting an apprenticeship and over 250 existing apprentices challenging their Red Seal exam with confidence.

“Our Union looks forward to continuing our partnership with Minister Piccini and this government to train the carpenters that will build Ontario’s critical infrastructure for years to come.”

“Under the leadership of Premier Ford, our government has an ambitious plan to build the homes, hospitals, schools and infrastructure our growing communities need. As Ontario attracts record levels of job-creating housing and infrastructure projects, we’re also investing in training opportunities to ensure our talent matches our ambition,” said David Piccini, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “That’s why our government is proud to work with our union partners to invest over $6 million in new training programs that will give more jobseekers the opportunity to build a bright future for themselves and their families in carpentry.”

Since its launch in 2021, Ontario’s SDF has helped train more than 66,000 construction workers.

In 2023, there were 36,600 carpenters employed in Ontario, making it one of the largest construction trades.

For more information on the CCAT project, visit www.theccat.ca/. To apply, fill out the online application for pre-apprenticeship training.

Those interested in the CRC project can get more information by reaching out to Alexa Cleary at acleary@ubcja.ca.

“This investment is fantastic news for residents of Vaughan. It will help train more of the essential carpenters who help build our city and are at the forefront of the government’s ongoing mission to build more homes for Ontarians. I want to thank Premier Ford and Minister Piccini for their confidence in the talent of skilled workers in Vaughan,” said Vaughan-Woodbridge MPP Michael Tibollo.

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