Feds issue RFPs to help equity-deserving groups get apprenticeship training

Ontario Construction News staff writer

The federal government issued two requests for proposals (RFPs) this week to connect equity-deserving groups including women with apprenticeship training and support to enter the skilled trades.

Over $33 million will be available over five years for the new Skilled Trades Awareness and Readiness (STAR) program, designed to encourage Canadian women, Indigenous people, visible minorities, newcomers, persons with disabilities and youth—to explore careers in the skilled trades.

“Canada needs more skilled trades workers. We need more women, persons with disabilities, Indigenous people, racialized Canadians, LGBTQ2S+ people and other marginalized people to consider a career in the trades, and to have the opportunity to start one,” said Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough.

“That’s why we’re investing in projects like GRiT and other initiatives across Canada that are helping to create a strong, skilled and diverse workforce in the trades.”

Also, Selections Career Support Services will receive $2.8 million for the Get Ready in Trades (GRiT) project to help youth pre-apprentices with disabilities create flexible and individualized career plans, skills enhancement and work experience opportunities.

“This funding enables the organization to diversify services, create awareness and promote inclusion, which impacts our community in a meaningful way,” said Angie Amaris, executive director of Selections Career Support Services.

“The fundamental objective of the Get Ready in Trades program is to empower our youth to be a part of the future skilled trades workforce while contributing to a growing economy.”

Demand for construction trades is likely to remain high. According to Buildforce Canada, the industry needs to recruit 309,000 new construction workers over the next decade (2021 to 2030), driven predominantly by the expected retirement of 259,100 workers (22% of the current labour force).


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