CLAC kickstarting construction careers with bootcamp program

Ontario Construction News staff writer

CLAC Training is offering a new construction Bootcamp training program in Ontario to help individuals with limited or no experience in the skilled trades gain the skills they need to start a fulfilling, well-paying construction career.

Each free, entry-level training program includes an eight-week paid job placement with a local construction employer. It is currently offered in Cambridge and Grimsby and will soon expand to other areas of the province.

“CLAC’s construction Bootcamp is a partnership between CLAC, signatory employers, and community partners to provide over 100 local individuals with the essential skills to start their construction careers,” says CLAC Training Ontario director Colin de Raaf.  “It is one small step to addressing the skilled trades shortage in the construction sector.”

The program was developed with the aid of a $1.5 million grant from the Ontario government’s Skill Development Fund (SDF).

Each student will receive:

  • Tool kit valued at $450
  • Full personal protective equipment and clothing
  • Up to 26 weeks of wrap-around, career-based support throughout training and work placement from CLAC staff, as well as wellness and community partners. This includes needs-based financial assistance toward childcare, accommodation, and transportation.

“Over the next decade, Ontario is projected to need 100,000 more workers in construction and the skilled trades,” said Monte McNaughton, minister of labour, training and skills development.

monte“These jobs often offer six-figure salaries with pensions and benefits and are paycheques waiting to be collected. That is why our government is supporting programs like the CLAC Training Bootcamp, which will get more young people into these life-changing careers.”

During the three weeks of in-class, online, and hands-on training, participants will learn about construction health and safety, how to safely use hand and power tools, communication skills and conflict management, construction-oriented math, and more. Participants will also earn mandatory safety certificates.

During the eight-week paid work placement, participants will use their new skills and experience on the job, while receiving support from CLAC staff, workplace mentors and their employer.

“This program is a fantastic introduction to the dynamic construction industry and an essential broad range of skill sets,” said Karen Renkema, Ontario vice-president at the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA).

“Providing hands-on experience in one of the fastest growing fields is a great way to launch a construction career and help ease the critical shortage of skilled trades workers.”

Additional program supports available include up to 26 weeks of one-on-one career-based support from CLAC staff and community partners, which includes needs-based financial assistance toward childcare, accommodation, and transportation. Participants will also receive a tool kit valued at $450 and full personal protective equipment and clothing.

Employers will also receive wage subsidies of 50 per cent to support a successful eight-week paid work placement.


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