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Ontario invests $20M in training partnership program for skilled trades


December 9, 2019
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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The government of Ontario’s is investing $20 million in training partnerships to bolster the Skills Catalyst Fund, which connects job seekers with new skills and potential employers.

The new provincial funding will roughly triple the existing program, which was launched in January 2018.

“Nearly one in five jobs over the next five years will be in the skilled trades,” says Monte McNaughton, minister of labour, training and skills development. “We are looking to industry and other partners for innovative solutions to help solve this skills gap.”

In order to qualify for funding, companies will need to form partnerships and demonstrate innovative approaches to training and workforce development.

Twenty successful training projects came through the first round of the Skills Catalyst Fund, including a simulated workplace environment where 500 students in the Sarnia, London, Thunder Bay and Belleville area worked on real-life industry problems in business, engineering, health and information technology.

Another project was an introduction to masonry for 274 middle- and high school students in Windsor, Ottawa, Kingston and the GTA through a partnership between various school boards and the Ontario Masonry Training Centre.

The Skills Catalyst Fund also led to apprentice bootcamps launched by the Communitech Academy in Kitchener that introduced 170 participants to the basics of digital marketing, tech sales, data science, UX and artificial intelligence.

The call for project proposals for the new funding round will open in the next few weeks.