Provincial government to expand high school construction trades education programs

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

The provincial government says it plans to add an additional 122 programs to encourage high school students to enter the skilled trades. The announcement of the expansion of the Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) program includes several programs focusing on construction throughout the province.

The government anticipates with the additional programs, there will be more than 2,100 SHSM programs at 700 secondary schools. Just over $10 million in additional funding since 2017-18 will bring the total funding to more than $42 million in 2019-20, covering 54,000 students.

“We know that a labour market shortage exists today and will rise over time in the high-paying skilled trades,” said education minister Stephen Lecce. “My top priority is to ensure students get the skills they need and, by investing in the skilled trades, our government is helping more students gain the competitive edge and job prospects they deserve.”

“Our students need the skills and training necessary for the jobs of today and tomorrow,” said Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “By offering programs like dual credits, students are not only gaining these skills, but doing so in ways that accelerate their careers and address employment gaps in Ontario quickly and efficiently.”

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