Queen’s Park officials are pledging $90-million to further promote careers in the skilled trades for young Ontarians.
Labour Minister Monte McNaughton and Education Minister Stephen Lecce were in Whitby on Wednesday for the announcement. This comes the same day a report was released by a group of youth advisors, making recommendations on how to improve the apprenticeship system.
“The funding will help attract more students to rewarding and lucrative careers in the trades and ensure employers have the workers they need to grow their businesses and drive our economy,” reads a press release.
“When you have a job in the skilled trades, you have a job for life,” said McNaughton. “Ontario’s trades are the backbone of our economy. More young people need to know that a job in the trades opens doors to bigger paycheques, with a pension and benefits. The trades can be their ticket to building a better life, strong family, and a stronger community for us all.”
As well, the province is adding $2.9-million to current pledges (now totaling $20-million annually) to expand the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) and send recruiters to schools.
“By 2025, it is estimated that as many as one in five jobs in Ontario will be in the skilled trades, but the average age of people entering the trades is 29,” reads the release. “At the same time, a third of tradespeople are nearing retirement, meaning the province is projected to face a shortfall of 100,000 construction workers over the decade.”