Ontario appoints union leader as skilled trades advisor

Ontario Construction News staff writer

Dave Cassidy, a former President of Unifor Local 444, has been appointed by the Ontario government as the new Skilled Trades Special Advisor, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development David Piccini has announced.

“I am thrilled to be working alongside Minister Piccini to ensure that Ontario’s workforce is ready to support the jobs of tomorrow,” Cassidy said in a statement. “As our province continues to grow and attract new investments, we will need more skilled workers to support these growing industries. Not only will these workers help to build Ontario, but they will build a better future for themselves and their families.”

The new advisor will be responsible for assessing the current skilled trades workforce needs in Ontario, with a focus on the manufacturing and automotive sectors.

Cassidy has extensive experience in the skilled trades, having served as a shop floor steward, skilled trades chairperson and other positions throughout his career.

He is also a member of the Unifor National Executive Board and sits on the National Skilled Trades Council.

In his new role, Cassidy will be expected to work with stakeholders across Ontario to develop a strategy to improve the skilled trades system, with a focus on supporting the growth of the manufacturing and automotive sectors.

The appointment was announced by the Ontario government last Monday (May 27).

It is part of the government’s efforts to attract, train and protect skilled trades workers, making Ontario the best place to work, live and raise a family.

The skilled trades sector is expected to grow significantly in the coming years, with an estimated additional 500,000 workers needed in skilled trades-related occupations over the next decade.

The government has committed $1.5 billion to the skilled trades strategy, which includes investments in training and development opportunities.

Cassidy’s expertise and experience in a variety of skilled trades roles will be invaluable to the government’s efforts to support the growth of the skilled trades sector, the statement says.

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