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Ontario focusing on attracting women, young workers to construction trades with $3.6 million investment

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August 8, 2023
By Talent Canada

Photo: Getty Images/Michaelmjc

Ontario is spending $3.6 million on three projects designed to increase the number of women and young workers in the construction trades.

It said the money will help more than 2,200 people prepare for careers, and will also give grade 12 students in the province a first-hand look at careers in construction.

Women make up less than five per cent of Ontario’s construction workforce, meaning many are missing out on a lucrative and in-demand sector, the province said.

“This support for apprenticeship training is long overdue and a great way to open the door to meaningful careers and long-term financial security for more young people, new Canadians, women and Indigenous people,” said Mike Gallagher, business manager for IUOE Local 793.


Project one: Attracting women

The first Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario  (PBCTO) project will help 700 tradeswomen gain the leadership, communications, health and safety training, and networking opportunities they need to start and advance rewarding careers in the industry, the province said.

It will also include the development of a speaker’s bureau to partner tradeswomen with speaking opportunities with schools, employment agencies, trade shows and other events across the province to mentor and attract more women into the skilled trades.

Project two: Online resources, training tools

The second project will provide 1,500 people with access to online resources and training tools where they can explore the skilled trades, build core skills and find apprenticeship opportunities in their profession of choice, connecting them directly with local employers.

Project three: Focus on high-school students

Additionally, PBCTCO’s Tomorrow’s Trades program is returning to provide 60 grade 12 students in London and Ottawa with “hands-on learning opportunities, behind-the-scenes access to high-profile construction projects and training so they can prepare for life-changing jobs in the industry,” it said.

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