Ontario government announces further support for Niagara youth pursuing the skilled trades

Aspiring tradespeople will be able to access instruction and mentorship from seasoned professionals. Pictured: Associate Minister of Energy and Niagara West MPP Sam Ooosterhoff. Photo Credit: Sam Oosterhoff/X. 

The need for skilled trades has never been greater in the province of Ontario or the Niagara Region. With this reality in mind, the Ontario government has been prioritising strategic investments to support young people who are seeking to develop trades-based careers.

“We know in-demand jobs in the skilled trades continue to grow, especially in Niagara as we welcome a number of large scale capital projects,” Associate Minister of Energy and Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff said earlier this week, reflecting on the Ontario government announcing $4.7 million additional funds for Niagara, through the skills development fund that will be utilised to provide over 2,300 apprentices and young people with hands-on experience with a variety of trades. 

Aspiring tradespeople will be able to access instruction and mentorship from seasoned professionals, as they chip away at significant development projects at Civiconnect Youth Skills Studio (Beamsville, $3 million), Edge Factor (Beamsville (1,087,600) and Millwrights Local 1007 (St. Catharines, $650,369). Through these opportunities, participants will gain practical experience with cutting-edge technologies and high-quality equipment. 

“All three Niagara recipients of the Skills Development fund are effectively bringing job seekers and job creators together to help fill Ontario’s labour gap,” Oosterhoff said. 

David Piccini, Ontario Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development, was also on tap for the announcement. 

“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,” Piccini explained. “By investing in these projects in Niagara, 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 Edge Factor will be using its funding to demonstrate the richness and wide range of skilled trades career paths to students and families across Ontario. 

“It has been Edge Factor’s honour to share powerful stories of women, youth, people who are uniquely abled, Indigenous community members, diverse people groups, and immigrants in successful apprenticeships and skilled trades,” said Edge Factor Founder and President Jeremy Bout. “With over one hundred stories filmed with over thirty companies and transcribed into twenty-one languages, these stories serve as a beacon of career inspiration.” 

At Civiconnect, partakers will explore information technology, digital management and marketing, web development and cloud computing as work on projects that will help local businesses. 

“Thanks to the ongoing support from the Ontario government over the past three years, Civiconnect has empowered over 650 students, managing more than 350 projects for small and medium-sized enterprises,” said Civiconnect Chief Executive Officer Nour Hage. 

In addition to creating a setting through which valuable training and skill development can take place, the three major development projects are also allowing for specialised testing and certification, particularly at Millwrights Local 1007. 

“This funding will be instrumental in enabling Millwrights Local 1007 to offer more accessible work-ready welding training to our membership,” shared Business Representative Dan Steel. “As an organisation deeply involved in supporting power generation, steel making, automotive manufacturing, and many other critical industries, this welding centre is a significant step towards improving skilled trades training in Niagara and supporting apprentice development, which would otherwise not be possible.”

The Ontario Skills Development Fund has played an important role in facilitating early development in the skilled trades for more than 500,000 young people, through backing 700 training projects since 2021. Those interested in learning more about the Skills Development Fund are invited to visit the following link: Skills Development Fund Training System.

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