Toronto, ON — Mar. 29, 2002 — The Ontario government is investing $3.7 million to help people develop their skills so they can become apprentice skilled workers, Dianne Cunningham, provincial minister of training, colleges and universities, has revealed.
“Our aging workforce means employers are working harder to find the skilled workers they need to compete, grow and create jobs,” Cunningham said. “Through the Pre-apprenticeship Training Program, the Ontario government is working with trainers and industry groups to help more people develop the essential skills to become apprentices.”
The Pre-apprenticeship Training Program is designed to bridge the gap between the skills employers need and the learning and experience of people looking for work. Under the program, the government is helping 400 people and investing in 20 courses in 2002 through a competitive process.
People who want a career in skilled trades can apply to participate in a course providing instruction in technical training that will prepare them to be eligible to become an apprentice in a specific trade. The course includes a workplace placement to give each participant real work experience. The duration of courses vary from 20 to 40 weeks.
Most programs will offer participants the opportunity to upgrade their academic skills to the minimum academic requirements for the trade in which they are training. Participation in the program is free.
Millwrights in demand
“Increased demand for skilled millwrights, and the overall aging of skilled workers in the trade, demand that more young workers be trained to meet the needs of industry,” said Dan Trudel, coordinator of apprenticeship training and special projects, Millwright Regional Council of Ontario. “The Council is pleased to participate in this important program which will strengthen our trade, strengthen industry and help create jobs.”
“To ensure our economy will continue to grow and create jobs, the Ontario government will double the number of people participating in apprenticeship programs,” Cunningham said. “The Pre-apprenticeship Training Program is an important step to help us achieve that goal.”
Another $33 million will be invested by 2004-2005 to double the number of entrants to apprenticeship programs in the skilled trades. The Pre-apprenticeship Training Program is part of the province’s 2001 budget commitment.
The 2001 budget also announced the Apprenticeship Enhancement Fund, a five-year, $50-million commitment to upgrade equipment and facilities in colleges that provide classroom training to apprentices.
People interested in participating in the Pre-apprenticeship Training Program should call the JobGrow and Training Hotline at 1-888-JobGrow, or 416-326-5656 in the Toronto area, for details about individual projects.
By Bill Roebuck, Editor