Skills Ontario Supports Ontario’s Investments in Skilled Trades in Budget Announcement

March 28. 2024

As demand for skilled trades professionals rises, Skills Ontario is commending the government for continued investments in skilled trades and technology programing, working to address the shortfall and need to build the workforce of the future in Ontario. 

The skilled trades shortage is costing Ontario 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, like manufacturing, health and safety, advanced IT and construction.  The Ontario construction industry alone is projecting a shortfall of over 100,000 skilled trades people over the next decade. Skills Ontario is pleased to see the investment to address the shortfalls and crisis in housing and infrastructure. 

Ian Howcroft, the CEO of Skills Ontario, says now is the time to continue to increase investment into skilled trades and technology programming to keep the momentum going.

“The province has been a leader in supporting skilled trades professionals which is why continued investment is so important. The additional $100 million funding for the Skills Development Fund will help support the economy and help keep our healthcare system, and our society operating.” said Howcroft.

Skills Ontario also welcomes further $16.5 million annually over the next three years that will support a variety of programs focused on breaking the stigma and attracting more young people into the skilled trades, simplifying the system, and encouraging employer participation in apprenticeships.  Skills Ontario also welcomes more support for the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP), with which we are proud to work closely. 

“As an organization inspiring youth to pursue skilled trade and technology careers, we are making a difference in dispelling the myths and improving the image of skilled trade professionals. More people have a far different view of what these essential careers are and realize how important these skills are.”

Grateful for past provincial government support, Skills Ontario looks forward to building our partnership to achieve more success through collaboration and partnership with the Ontario government. 

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