Ontario Construction News staff writer
The Ontario government is adding $2.5 million to training programs in southwestern Ontario through four free training projects that will help 385 jobseekers over the age of 55 and 2,300 students, two groups that face barriers to employment.
Although research has shown that more than two-thirds of people over the age of 55 feel the job market is closed to them and youth in Ontario are unemployed at a rate twice as high as the provincial average, more than 17,000 jobs are going unfilled in the London area.
“As Ontario continues to combat a historic labour shortage, we need to ensure everyone in our community gets a fair shot at the training they need to land life-changing careers,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of labour, immigration, training and skills development. “These free projects will help level the playing field and give disadvantaged young people, seniors – everyone in between – in London a chance at better jobs and bigger paycheques.”
Led by Over 55 London, Youth Opportunities Unlimited, Pathways Employment Help Centre and WePrep Inc./LiUNA Local 1059, the province says the programs will prioritize those traditionally shut out of the job market including at-risk youth and people over the age of 55.
Opportunities will include jobs in construction, manufacturing, property maintenance, hospitality, retail, and other in-demand industries in London and the surrounding region.
Youth Opportunities Unlimited is working with Fanshawe College and Michael + Clark Construction to provide training and experience to 60 youth, exposing them to career opportunities in the construction sector.
Participants will eperience hands-on training, apprenticeships, on-the-job learning, and financial literacy courses. They will also have access to free equipment and support with living expenses, childcare, transportation, and mental health resources.
“Ontario’s investment in four free training projects will give underprivileged individuals in Southwestern Ontario the opportunity to find meaningful and well-paying jobs,” said Rob Flack, MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London.