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Ontario offers up $21M for pre-apprenticeship training in skilled trades


The Ontario government is investing $21 million in pre-apprenticeship training programs for up to 2,000 people looking to enter the skilled trades.

Training is free for participants and always includes a paid work placement. Eligible union and non-union training centres, colleges, employment agencies and other community organizations can submit their training proposals until Jan. 5, 2021.

Pre-apprenticeship training programs last up to one year and combine classroom training with an eight- to 12-week work placement. Last year, this program helped train 1,800 people in 91 programs across the province.

During the funding announcement in Hamilton, Ont. on Dec. 11, Jill Dunlop, Ontario’s associate minister of children and women’s issues, highlighted the need for more women, Indigenous peoples, at-risk youth and new Canadians to enter the skilled trades.

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“We know that COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on the social and economic well-being of women,” she said. “Encouraging people of all genders and backgrounds to pursue the skilled trades will help our economy get back on track and will ensure that women are not left behind in the process.”

In Ontario, women make up only seven per cent of employment in trades, transport and equipment operators, and related occupations.