Toronto, ON –Mar. 28, 2002 — The Ontario government has launched a website to encourage young people to train in high-demand skilled trades.
“Employers in manufacturing, construction, automotive maintenance, hospitality and other industries need more skilled workers to keep pace with consumer demand and compete in a global marketplace,” said Dianne Cunningham, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities.
“With so many young people using the Internet to learn about careers and further education, the creation of a web site providing useful information in a friendly format is an effective way to promote careers in the trades.”
For several years, industry associations and employers have reported that they cannot hire the skilled workers they need. The province’s ageing workforce makes it all the more important to recruit new workers now to replace the experienced workers who will soon be retiring.
Careers in today’s skilled trades require higher levels of education and skills. Skilled workers in some trades can earn more than $100,000 a year through overtime and bonuses.
Web-surfers can click on Skills Connect at www.edu.gov.on.ca/skills.html to learn about the more than 130 skilled trades that can be practiced through Ontario’s apprenticeship training system. High school students are given tips on what courses to study that will help them become eligible to become an apprentice in specific skilled trades, as well as how the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program can help them to begin working towards an apprenticeship while completing high school.
“Employers, skilled workers, and apprentices say that careers in skilled trades need to be better promoted. Skills Connect is a first step by the Ontario government to provide a positive profile to skilled trades careers,” Cunningham said.
Skills Connect will be continually updated to provide relevant information about college courses providing classroom training for apprentices, as well as links to other web sites that will provide a useful edge to people interested in careers in skilled trades.
Employers, workers, educators and trainers are invited to link with Skills Connect and to partner with the government to promote skilled trade careers.
By Bill Roebuck, Editor