Government commits $36 million to apprenticeship, pre-apprenticeship programs


STAFF WRITER – The GTA Construction Report

The provincial government has announced its commitment to invest $36 million over the next two years for apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship training.

The funds, previously disclosed in the 2015 budget, were outlined by Reza Moridi, the provincial Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU), at a George Brown College press conference in February.

“This investment in our apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs demonstrates that the MTCU is strongly committed to supporting diverse career opportunities for young people,” George Brown College president Anne Sado, said in a statement. She said the funds “will strengthen our ability to produce highly skilled, workplace ready graduates to fill key roles in Ontario’s labour force.” Support will include:

• $23 million over two years through the Apprenticeship Enhancement Fund for 47 new capital projects at colleges and other training organizations for new equipment, new facilities and new technologies such as welding simulators, to provide opportunities for hands on training.

• $13 million through the Pre-Apprenticeship Training program to help support 84 pre-apprenticeship training programs, which will help more than 1,500 people, primarily from traditionally underrepresented groups including women, Aboriginal peoples and at risk youth, consider careers in the trades by developing their skills through inclass training sessions and work placements.

New annual apprenticeship registrations in programs across Ontario have grown from 17,100 in 2002-03 to more than 26,500 in 2014-15, the government says. This investment will help support the almost one in five new jobs in the province that are expected to be created in the trades in the coming decade.

The government news release says there were 47 successful Apprenticeship Enhancement Fund projects selected through a call for proposals open to colleges, and employer and union based training centres issued in July 2015.

As well:

• Ontario is investing in 28 more pre-apprenticeship programs compared to 2014-15, an increase of 50 per cent.

• Ontario’s investment to support George Brown College includes almost $900,000 through the Apprenticeship Enhancement Fund to build a smart welding facility featuring modern welding simulators to give hands on training to future construction and industrial mechanic millwrights; a trade in high demand.

• Ontario is also supporting the college with more than $600,000 for two pre-apprenticeship training programs to help unemployed and homeless youth develop the trade specific knowledge, job skills and work experience they need for careers in the millwright, refrigeration and air conditioning mechanic and sheet metal worker trades.


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