Ontario training Indigenous people for skilled trades careers

Ontario Construction News staff writer

The Ontario government has announced$1.5 million for three Thunder Bay training projects help Indigenous people start skilled trades careers and address critical labour shortages in forestry and mining.

More than 100 participants will receive practical, hands-on training and apprenticeship experience to prepare for well-paying jobs in the North.

“Careers in the skilled trades offer the opportunity to work anywhere, and the good pay to buy a home and raise a family,” said labour minister Monte McNaughton. “Our government is proud to bring these purpose-driven careers within reach for more Indigenous communities in the North, and for more young people across our province to help tackle our historic labour shortage.”

Monte McNaughtonTwo of the pre-apprenticeship training projects in Thunder Bay are run by Anishinabek Employment and Training Services (AETS), with the Carpenters Union Local 1669 and Confederation College. They will introduce participants to general carpentry as well as the basics of welding and electrical trades. Participants will get classroom training and a 12-week paid work placement to gain valuable hands-on experience. Funding is from Ontario’s $28 million pre-apprenticeship program.

“The Carpenters Union is proud to be a part of providing high level training to our Northern Ontario partners through our training centre,” said Evan Reid
president, Carpenters Local 1669 Training Centre. “Delivering programs such as pre apprentice training gives individuals an opportunity to gain skills as well as receive any mandatory occupational health and safety training, prior to beginning a career in the construction industry.

“I will be looking forward to continuing to offer the opportunity for training while helping persons, companies, and communities in Northern Ontario build capacity for the future.”

The government is also providing $644,000 to the Kiikenomaga Kikenjigewen Employment and Training Services (KKETS) to help 35 Indigenous people prepare for well-paying jobs as construction craft workers, plumbers and electricians. The program is free for participants and available to anyone from the nine Matawa First Nations communities in the Thunder Bay region.

“Ensuring prosperous communities for both Indigenous people and Northern Ontarians is a top priority for our government”, said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development and Indigenous Affairs. “This investment opens the door for Ontarians to make a change in their career, leading to an improved quality of life for themselves and their families while filling crucial gaps in the skilled trades.”

Organizations that want to deliver pre-apprenticeship training programs can now submit their project proposals. Applications will be accepted until Nov. 21, 2022 via the application website.

“The services and support offered by Anishinabek Employment and Training Services (AETS) and Kiikenomaga Kikenjigewen Employment and Training Services (KKETS) connect participants to life-changing opportunities,” said Melissa Young
CEO/Registrar, Skilled Trades Ontario.

“Far too many people across our province are unaware of the many options available in the trades. We’re changing that.”


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