Ontario sending recruiters to high schools to promote careers in the trades

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The Ontario government is making a major push to encourage youth to consider careers in the trades, sending recruiters to nearly 800 Ontario high schools and holding large fairs across the province to connect students with jobs.

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The move is an attempt to address a growing shortage of workers in skilled trades, sectors that can pay around $100,000 per year with benefits and pensions.

Labor Minister Monte McNaughton and Education Minister Stephen Lecce are in Whitby on Wednesday morning to announce the details of $90 million in funding for trades, increasing provincial spending in the sector to $1.5 billion over the next four years.


“In 2018, one percent of all students went into apprenticeships, but by 2025 one in five jobs will be in skilled trades,” McNaughton said in an interview. “We have something to hold on to.”

He said the province’s plan is designed to “end stigma, simplify the apprenticeship system and encourage employers to hire apprentices”, providing companies with $17,000 per apprentice from under-represented groups. Includes a promise to

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McNaughton also said, “It’s really putting our money where our mouths are to diversify and recruit people into trades.” “The intention is to really compete with the specialties available in Ontario.

McNaughton also said that the government is aiming to bring the average age of an apprenticeship down from 29 to 22.

Lecce noted that the province forecast a shortage of about 100,000 skilled workers over the next decade. He has previously said that talk of trades will begin in elementary school, before students decide on a career path.

He said that teachers and guidance counselors would also be trained so that they could also promote trades in a better way.

“Our government believes that students should be equipped with the skills that will allow them to access jobs in demand,” Lecce said in a statement.

“That’s why we’re giving students access to modern STEM education opportunities as part of our new Grade 9 math curriculum, and connecting students with recruiters to help them enter skilled trades.” Doing so is key to our province’s long-term economic success and to supporting students as they prepare to enter the workforce.”

Kristin Rushovi is a Toronto-based reporter who covers Ontario politics for Granthshala. Follow him on Twitter: @krushowy
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