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Ontario invests $7 million for training in automotive manufacturing


The Ontario government is investing $7 million in training and paid job placements for the automotive manufacturing sector for up to 800 people from underrepresented groups.

The project is being led by the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association (APMA).

“This program will help ensure people who face multiple barriers get access to free training and get on track to promising careers in assembly line work, machine operation or quality assurance, to name a few,” says Monte McNaughton, minister of labour, training and Skills Development, in a statement.

Starting this month, APMA is working with community agencies and employment service providers to place up to 100 trainees per month with hundreds of auto parts manufacturers across Ontario, most of which are small and medium-sized businesses, and APMA members.

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Trainees will participate in paid job placement sessions that last a minimum of three months. Participating employers will receive up to $8,000 in supports per trainee, of which a maximum of $3,000 can be used as a wage subsidy and $5,000 to cover costs related to training.

The job placements and training happen concurrently, starting between June 2021 and March 2022, with training tailored to each participant by APMA and their employer, and which can include on-the-job training, in-class or online learning.

Training will cover manufacturing essentials, such as problem solving, document use, basic math, project management, as well as oral communication, critical thinking and inter-personal skills.

The program help develop a new talent pipeline in a sector that has an aging workforce. According to the Future of Canadian Automotive Labourforce, numerous automotive manufacturers have a workforce comprised largely of workers over age 45.

There were 2,280 job vacancies in Ontario’s transportation equipment manufacturing sector during the fourth quarter of 2020, an increase of 35 per cent since the fourth quarter of 2019.

“Ours is an industry with an incredible future that is critically short of people to share in it,” says Flavio Volpe, APMA president. “Partnerships like these allow us to build permanent pathways into new communities who would otherwise not have accessed this prosperity.”

Applications are being accepted through APMA’s partner community agencies, employment service providers and its 300-plus member organizations. Individuals who wish to apply may do so through APMA’s website.