Ontario expands construction career fairs

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

The Ontario government is expanding its Level Up! career fairs this year, bringing the event to more cities with the aim of doubling the number of students who participate.

This year’s fairs are scheduled from Sept. 19 to Nov. 29 with Thunder Bay, Sudbury, London, Mississauga and Ottawa. Hamilton, Windsor, Sault Ste. Marie, Oshawa and Dryden added this year.

Exhibitors will have the opportunity to connect with youth across Ontario and showcase what a future-facing career could look like.

The online application process for exhibitors is open for some locations.

Exhibitors must offer:

  • Hands-on experiences on-site to students ages 12 to 18 and other event attendees
  • Diverse and inclusive perspectives within their respective industry (i.e., bilingual representation, support for marginalized communities)
  • An exciting look at the future of your trade as one that’s innovative, cutting-edge, technologically advanced and meaningful to the next generation of prospective talent

“Last year’s career fairs were a phenomenal success, giving thousands of students and their families exposure to the many career opportunities in the skilled trades,” said Premier Doug Ford. “As we make historic investments to build roads, transit, hospitals, schools and other critical infrastructure, these expanded fairs will help us attract more young people into the trades and develop the skilled workforce our growing province needs.”

Level Up! fairs are expected to highlight skilled trades to more than 25,000 students in grades 7 to 12 with interactive exhibitions and hands-on activities and opportunities to speak with tradespeople and local employers.

Last year’s fairs attracted more than 12,800 visitors.

The government estimates that 1.2 million people were working in skilled trades-related jobs in Ontario in 2022. However, about one in three workers in Ontario with an apprenticeship or trade certificate is aged 55 or over and nearing retirement.

One in five new job openings in Ontario will be in the skilled trades by 2025.

“Our priority is to keep students in stable and normal classrooms, benefiting from a focus on strengthening foundational skills on reading, writing, math,” said Education Minister Stephen Lecce. “This is supported by expanded career fairs and a new mandatory requirement that all students take at least one technological education course starting next year, so that students graduate into fulfilling careers of the jobs of tomorrow.”

This year’s Level Up! Fairs:

 

Sept. 19, 20

Canadian Lakehead Exhibition
425 Northern Avenue
Thunder Bay, Ontario

 

Sept 27, 28

The Machine Shop
83 Huron Street
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

 

Oct. 3, 4

Sudbury Community Arena
240 Elgin Street
Sudbury, Ontario

 

Oct. 17, 18

First Ontario Centre
101 York Boulevard
Hamilton, Ontario

 

Oct. 25, 26

LaSalle Event Centre
970 Front Road,
Windsor, Ontario

 

Nov. 1, 2

Western Fair Pavilion
316 Rectory Street
London, Ontario

 

Nov. 15, 16

International Centre – Hall 1
6900 Airport Road
Mississauga

 

Nov. 21, 22

Tribute Communities Centre
99 Athol Street East
Oshawa, Ontario

 

 

Nov. 28, 29

EY Centre
4899 Uplands Drive
Ottawa, Ontario

 

 

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