Ontario Creating Pathways for Youth to Enter the Skilled Trades

Government of Ontario

June 14, 2024

The Ontario government is investing over $4.7 million through the Skills Development Fund (SDF) in three Niagara Region-based projects that will provide free training to 2,318 youth, apprentices and jobseekers that will prepare them for in-demand careers in the skilled trades. This brings Ontario’s total investment in skills development and training through SDF to nearly $1.1 billion that supports the hiring, training, and retaining of youth in the skilled trades.

“To keep up with our growing province, we need to attract more youth into the skilled trades, which is why our government is working hand-in-hand with labour and industry partners to create new training opportunities,” said David Piccini, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “By investing in these projects in Niagara Region, we are creating more pathways for young people to start a well-paying career in the skilled trades, and build a brighter future for themselves.”

The Ontario government is partnering with industry to deliver free training programs, including:

  • Civiconnect Youth Community Engagement Organization: $3 million to help 350 youth aged 14 to 29 in Niagara Region develop technical and workplace preparedness skills for careers in the skilled trades, digital marketing, web development, digital system administration, cloud computing and information technology. Participants will work on projects submitted by businesses in the community.
  • Edge Factor Inc is receiving $1,087,600 for a project that aims to showcase careers and opportunities in the skilled trades online for 1,920 youth, jobseekers, parents and community members in Niagara Region and across Ontario.
  • United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, Local 1007 is receiving $650,369 to purchase and outfit a new six-booth welding trailer in Niagara Region. The new industry-standard equipment and technology will enable Local 1007 to train, test and certify an additional 48 apprentices and journeypersons on various types of welding to meet industry and employer demand in Ontario.

“We have heard from young people and students in the community that their only pathway to success is through university. It’s time we break that stigma. The skilled trades open the door to a future with a six-figure salary – all without tuition debt,” said Patrice Barnes, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “We’re especially proud to support these local projects in Niagara Region because we know careers like these are more than a paycheque; they offer young people hope and self-confidence.”

Since its launch in 2021, Ontario’s Skills Development Fund has helped connect more than half a million jobseekers with the skills and training they need to find well-paying and fulfilling careers close to home.

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