There is a need for more skilled trades people in the automotive industry in Ontario, according to the Provincial Government’s Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development.
Monte McNaughton said there is “absolutely” a shortage of skilled trades workers in the Ontario automotive industry following an announcement on Friday by the Provincial Government that is committing $550,000 to Sheridan College’s Brampton Campus pre-apprenticeship programs.
The announcement at Sheridan’s Faculty of Applied Science and Technology followed the one the Provincial Government made earlier this week in Windsor, where McNaughton unveiled a plan to create 4,000 paid job placements by pumping $14 million in the automotive and advance manufacturing sector for apprentices and work placements for post-secondary students and recent graduates. It is part of the Province’s 10-year Driving Prosperity Plan to create jobs in the automotive industry.
“All of these trades will benefit the automotive industry in the province,” McNaughton said.
“One of those components and my responsibility as Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development is to ensure we have a talent pool of skilled workers in the province,” McNaughton said. “We’re continuing to invest in the talent and training of our people so they can find careers in automotive and advanced manufacturing.”
Speaking at the announcement, Premier Doug Ford said the number-one problem in the trades industry in Ontario is the need for more trades people, specifically 200,000, to address the shortage of electricians, carpenters, mechanics and construction workers.
He said the trades industry is the “backbone” of the province’s economy. He added the $550,000 is part of the Province’s $20.8 million investment in pre-apprenticeship training programs, an increase of $2.5 million from last year, which will introduce more than 1,800 people to the trades. The programs are free for all participants.
The training programs for 50 students at Sheridan Collage will last anywhere from several weeks to one year, and every one of the placements will have a work component. At Sheridan, one of the programs that will be taught is industrial mechanic millwright.
“These are the programs that will help young people get hands-on experience with skilled trades and thanks to our early action we’re making progress in closing the skills gap,” Ford said.
He added apprenticeship programs are up 14 per cent since his government too office in June, 2018. He also said by 2021 one in five jobs in Ontario will be in skilled trades occupation.
“My message to everyone in Ontario is that skilled trades are a good first career choice. If you have a trade, you will always, always have a job,” Ford said.