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Ontario invests nearly $4M in skilled trades ‘boot camps’


The Ontario government will invest nearly $4 million to assist up to 2,100 youth access training and networking opportunities in the skilled trades.

The funding will deliver 70 one-day boot camps to communities hard-hit by the pandemic so youth can explore careers such as millwrights, electricians, plumbers, automotive service technicians and horticulture technicians.

From September 2021 to March, 2022, Support Youth Ontario will run “Tools in the Trades Boot Camps,” targeting three groups of participants:

  • Grade 12 students who have an interest in the skilled trades
  • People who lost their job during COVID-19
  • People looking to start a new career in a growing sector or industry, with a special focus on Indigenous youth, racialized groups, women and newcomers.

Youth from more than 25 communities across Ontario, including Ottawa, London, Hamilton, Chatham and Sault Ste. Marie will gain experience working with tools, writing resumes and interviewing.

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They will also have an opportunity to speak with businesses in the skilled trades sector. This will help them decide whether to enter the skilled trades and possibly find employers who can sponsor their apprenticeship. Each participant will get to keep a $250 basic set of tools to use during the training.

It is expected that 500 employers and industry associations and 300 education and training providers will be involved in the project.

To be considered for the boot camp, applicants must fill out a 17-question questionnaire through Support Ontario Youth’s website. A software program called “talent sorter” will determine their compatibility with their selected trade.

This initiative, part of the $115-million Skills Development Fund, aligns with the province’s Skilled Trades Strategy to support economic development by de-stigmatizing the skilled trades, simplify the apprenticeship system and encourage businesses to hire more apprentices.