Ontario Construction News staff writer
The Ontario government has announced $3.7 million to help up to 2,500 workers start or advance in construction careers.
The project runs until March 30, 2023. Interested construction employers, apprenticeship sponsors and apprentices from across Ontario can apply for the program at constructionontario.ca.
Jobseekers can access the online job bank at constructionontario.ca/find-jobs. In 2021, the average hourly wage in Ontario was $36 for industrial electricians, $32 for bricklayers, and $26 for welders.
“Construction workers are heroes who keep our province running by building the roads, hospitals, homes, and schools that we rely on every day,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “With billions of dollars in infrastructure investments on the horizon, we need all hands on deck to get the job done. Our government will continue to invest in programs that ease labour shortages and give workers the tools to earn bigger paycheques for themselves and their families.”
Ontario estimates 100,000 more construction workers will be needed to meet the existing infrastructure plans, including 1.5 million homes by 2031.
“Spark has put into place several foundational programs that are benefiting our employees greatly,” said Emma Garrod, talent development manager at Spark Power. “From starting out in their career to progressing through the career ladder, we have skills development at all levels, and it’s because of the foundations we’ve built with learning management platform’s subject matter expert technical training and fantastic senior leadership supporting all of it.”
Merit Ontario, an organization that supports contractors who employ both unionized and non-unionized workers, will use the funding to expand their online job bank to match thousands of people with construction jobs at more than 300 small, medium and large employers in their communities. The job bank helps jobseekers assess their skills, access additional training, and prepare for interviews. Furthermore, this funding continues to support Merit’s online training centre which is helping up to 2,500 construction workers train for the next step in their careers and earn more take-home pay.
“The Government of Ontario’s continued investment in Construction Ontario helps small and medium-sized construction employers and their employees access high-quality, engaging and accessible training to help them improve their productivity and enhance health and safety in the workplace,” said Mike Gallardo, President and CEO of Merit Ontario.
Funding comes from the Skills Development Fund, a $560 million initiative that supports innovative programs that connect job seekers with the skills and training they need to find well-paying careers close to home. The third round of funding launched last week, prioritizes projects that support people with criminal records and those on social assistance.