Ontario Connecting Newcomers With Opportunities in the Skilled Trades

Free workshops will prepare immigrants for in-demand local jobs

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The Ontario government is investing over $900,000 to connect 900 new immigrants across the province with well-paying jobs as carpenters, electricians, plumbers, mechanics, welders, chefs and other in-demand trades. Through the free, virtual workshops, newcomers will receive the training and job connections needed to enter rewarding careers.

Details were shared today by Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, who was joined by Goldie Ghamari, MPP for Carleton, and Jeremy Roberts, MPP for Ottawa West-Nepean, at the YMCA/YWCA of the National Capital Region in Ottawa.

“Across the province, we continue to hear from businesses in the skilled trades who can’t find the workers they need to grow,” said Minister McNaughton. “These are bigger paycheques waiting for hardworking people to collect them. This program will connect newcomers with the training and support they need to fill these good local jobs and build better communities.”

Organized by the YMCA/YWCA, tailored workshops are being provided to newcomers in Ottawa, Toronto, and other Ontario cities. Sessions will continue until the end of February 2022 and participants can access their online workshop on any electronic device.

Through the workshops, newcomers will learn how to find an apprenticeship, what employers look for when hiring and how to get a Trades Equivalency Assessment. In addition, with the support of the Ontario government, outreach workers are being hired by the YMCA/YWCA to promote connections between newcomers, employers, and local employment service centres. These additional resources will allow them to better connect local job seekers to in-demand careers in the skilled trades.

“We are thrilled to be leading the Ontario Newcomer Trades Action Project in partnership with the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development,” said Bob Gallagher, President and Chief Executive Officer of the YMCA-YWCA in the National Capital Region. “By scaling this project to five Y’s across the Province, and targeting three main stakeholder groups – employers in the sector, service providers, and newcomers – we will improve access to apprenticeship training and employment across Ontario.”

This funding is part of Ontario’s over $200 million investment in the Skills Development Fund, an initiative to address challenges employers face in hiring, training and retraining workers and apprentices during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Quick Facts

  • Register for the information sessions by emailing [email protected] or calling 613-788-5001.
  • In the first eight months of 2021, there were 82,000 online postings in Ontario for jobs in skilled trades and 6,900 in Ottawa alone.
  • In 2016, nearly one in three workers in Ontario with trade certificates was aged 55 years or over, according to Statistics Canada.
  • The construction industry will likely need to hire more than 100,000 additional workers in Ontario over the next decade (2021-2030), including skilled tradespeople, due to retirements and employment growth, according to BuildForce Canada, March 2021.
  • The average hourly wage for a welder was $26.02 in Ontario in 2020, $28.02 for an automotive service technician, $28.70 for a carpenter, $31.60 for a heavy-duty equipment mechanic, $31.62 for a plumber and up to almost $45 an hour for an electrician.
  • In September 2021, there were 591,600 unemployed people in Ontario.
  • Ontario’s Skills Development Fund is supported through labour market transfer agreements between the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.
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