The province is trying to get more folks into skilled trades. Ontario Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development Mitzie Hunter was at UA Local 46 in Barrie today, to announce details of a new plan called Ontario’s Apprenticeship Strategy, designed to address the shortage of skilled workers.
Hunter detailed the plan, saying it will take a five pronged approach:
- Create better incentives for employers to train and retain apprentices by transforming the existing Apprenticeship Training Tax Credit into the Graduated Apprenticeship Grant for Employers
- Promote apprenticeship as a valuable postsecondary pathway and help individuals make informed decisions about their career options by providing valuable information about different careers leading from an apprenticeship through Ontario’s labour market website
- Update the apprenticeship system through digital enhancements, including a simplified online registration process
- Develop recommendations on how to ensure students in the K-12 system are prepared for, exposed to and aware of career opportunities in the skilled trades
- Enhance services that support apprentices to begin and complete their training, including increasing the participation of young people and underrepresented groups in the skilled trades.
One of those in attendance at today’s event was a 5th-year apprentice, Bailey Woods, who says skilled trades are for anyone, men or women, even it if means a bit of an uphill battle.
While Bailey’s father is also a member of UA Local 46, it was actually her sister, another tradesperson, who urged Bailey to give it a try.