Canada announces $7 million for skilled trades workers in Windsor

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

The Government of Canada has announced more than $7.3 million for two projects through the Canadian Apprenticeship Strategy’s Union Training and Innovation Program (UTIP) – Innovation in Apprenticeship Stream. Projects will improve the participation of underrepresented groups, such as women, newcomers, persons with disabilities, Indigenous people, and racialized Canadians, in the Red Seal trades.

“Investing in training and opportunities for Canadian workers is how we fill critical labour gaps across Canada,” said Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages, Randy Boissonnault. “Build a Dream to Empower Women and Women’s Enterprise Skills Training of Windsor Inc are doing this work on the ground and directly supporting the future of Windsor’s workforce.

“This $7.3 million investment will strengthen our workforce and grow our economy, and support middle class jobs for the people of Windsor.”

Through the first project – Diversifying the Talent Pipelines for In-demand Red Seal Trades – Build a Dream to Empower Women will receive more than $4 million over two years to help up to 18,000 underrepresented apprentices in Ontario, Alberta and Nova Scotia improve their overall skills and competencies in leadership and team building.

“Women’s Enterprise Skills Training of Windsor Inc. is thrilled to have this support from the Federal government through this grant which will assist in increasing success in the skilled trades for key groups including women, newcomers, Indigenous women, and low-income apprentices in the Red Seal trades,” said Rose Anguiano Hurst, Executive Director, Women’s Enterprise Skills Training of Windsor Inc. “This federal funding will allow WEST to build on existing partnerships with local unions, educational institutions, local employers and expand on best practices to help women to succeed in the skilled trades.”

Participants will also get support to upgrade their technical skills through hands-on experience. In collaboration with unions and employers, the organization will help participants find work placements in the Red Seal trades.

As part of the second project – Women’s Enterprise Skills Training of Windsor Inc. (WEST) – will receive more than $3 million over four years for their SMART for Women project to help up to 400 unrepresented apprentices to progress and succeed in their apprenticeships. WEST will provide math refresher courses; assist participants to enroll in technical training courses offered by trades schools and training providers; and provide participants with wrap-around supports, such as childcare and financial support, so they can complete their apprenticeship training successfully and pursue in-demand jobs.

“Build a Dream is dedicated to cultivating a skilled and diverse workforce and ensuring that apprentices have the support they need to successfully complete their apprenticeship at all levels,” said Nour Hachem, president and founder, Build A Dream. “Through the UTIP grant, we are committed to providing necessary resources such as virtual simulators, connecting employers and employees through the largest You’re Hired Road Show, skill development opportunities, bridging the gap and facilitating connections between stakeholders at all levels. We acknowledge the value of this program and are working actively towards creating equal opportunities and promoting diversity in the trades industry.”

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