As demand for skilled trades professionals rises, Skills Ontario is recommending continued investments from the provincial government in its skilled trade and technology programming ahead of the 2023 Economic Budget.
On Thursday, Skills Ontario Chief Executive Officer, Ian Howcroft, participated in the Minister of Finance’s Budget Consultations at Sheridan College to talk about the financial impact of skilled trade shortages.
The skilled trades shortage is costing the province approximately $25 billion in foregone GDP. A Conference Board of Canada study highlighted a need of over 500,000 new entrants to the skilled trades by 2030 to address shortages.
The demand for workers is also growing in key areas of Ontario’s economy, including manufacturing, health and safety, advanced IT and construction, where the sector is projecting a shortfall of over 100,000 skilled trades people over the next decade.
On the positive side, “we are seeing changes in attitudes and are realizing success in reducing the negative stigma that has been so long associated with the skilled trades,” said Howcroft. “All our investments are paying off!”
During the pandemic, Skills Ontario was able to offer and increase the programming that ensured they promoted skilled trades and technology careers to young people and help them along their educational and career pathways.
Skills Ontario recognized the support, leadership and partnership that the Ontario government has provided to address the skills challenges.
“Skills Ontario looks forward to building on our successful partnership and will work to scale up our efforts to encourage more youth to pursue careers in the skilled trades and technologies,” commented the organization via press release.
The discussion is happening ahead of the 2023 Skills Ontario Competition taking place at the Toronto Congress Centre from May 1 to May 3. This free event is open for the public to attend.