Ontario will spend $7 million to deliver training and paid job placements for up to 800 people from underrepresented groups in auto manufacturing.
The project, led by the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association (APMA), is designed to “help develop a new talent pipeline to reinvigorate a sector with an aging workforce and help historically marginalized groups to train for, access, and retain good jobs,” the government said in a statement Friday.
Starting this month, the APMA is working with community agencies and employment service providers to place up to 100 trainees per month at hundreds of auto parts manufacturers across Ontario, most of which are small and medium-sized businesses, and APMA members. Trainees will participate in paid job placement sessions that last a minimum of three months.
Participating employers will receive up to $8,000 in supports per trainee, of which a maximum of $3,000 can be used as a wage subsidy and $5,000 to cover costs related to training.
The job placements and training happen concurrently, starting between June 2021 and March 2022, with training tailored to each participant by the APMA and their employer, and which can include on-the-job training, in-class or online learning. Training will cover manufacturing essentials, such as problem solving, document use, basic math, project management, as well as oral communication, critical thinking and inter-personal skills.
“Ours is an industry with an incredible future that is critically short of people to share in it,” APMA president Flavio Volpe said in a statement. “Partnerships like these allow us to build permanent pathways into new communities who would otherwise not have accessed this prosperity.”
Applications are being accepted through APMA’s partner community agencies, employment service providers and its 300-plus member organizations. People can apply through the APMA’s website.
“Our automotive sector has openings across the province for talented, trained and eager workers,” Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development Monte McNaughton said in the same statement. “This program will help ensure people who face multiple barriers get access to free training and get on track to promising careers in assembly line work, machine operation or quality assurance, to name a few.
“We will once again make Ontario’s automative sector one of the most competitive in the world.”
This new program is part of Ontario’s $115 million Skills Development Fund.