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Ontario spending $3.7 million to address construction labour shortage

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October 12, 2022
By Talent Canada

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Ontario is pumping $3.7 million into a program to address the labour shortage in the province’s construction sector.

It said the funding will help up to 2,500 workers start or advance in “well-paying careers” in the construction industry. It pointed out the sector needs 100,000 more construction workers to deliver on its “ambitious infrastructure plans, including 1.5 million homes by 2031.”

“Construction workers are heroes who keep our province running by building the roads, hospitals, homes, and schools that we rely on every day,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “With billions of dollars in infrastructure investments on the horizon, we need all hands on deck to get the job done. Our government will continue to invest in programs that ease labour shortages and give workers the tools to earn bigger paycheques for themselves and their families.”

This investment will help Merit Ontario, an organization that supports contractors who employ both unionized and non-unionized workers, to expand their online job bank to match thousands of people with construction jobs at more than 300 small, medium and large employers in their communities.


The job bank helps jobseekers assess their skills, access additional training, and prepare for interviews. Furthermore, this funding continues to support Merit’s online training centre which is helping up to 2,500 construction workers train for the next step in their careers and earn more take-home pay.

“The Government of Ontario’s continued investment in Construction Ontario helps small and medium-sized construction employers and their employees access high-quality, engaging and accessible training to help them improve their productivity and enhance health and safety in the workplace,” said Mike Gallardo, President and CEO of Merit Ontario. “We thank the Government of Ontario and Minister McNaughton for their continued commitment to ensuring workers across the province have access to training no matter where they live.”

Quick facts

  • Ontario is facing increasing labour shortages with over 360,000 jobs going unfilled, costing billions in lost productivity.
  • The project runs until March 30, 2023. Interested construction employers, apprenticeship sponsors and apprentices from across Ontario can apply for the program at constructionontario.ca.
  • Jobseekers can access the online job bank at constructionontario.ca/find-jobs. In 2021, the average hourly wage in Ontario was $36 for industrial electricians, $32 for bricklayers, and $26 for welders.
  • Data suggests that the need to replace retiring workers is elevated in the skilled trades. In 2016, nearly one in three people in Ontario with trades certificates were aged 55 years or older.
  • Ontario’s construction sector had 28,360 jobs waiting to be filled in the second quarter of 2022, up from 20,895 in the second quarter of 2021.
  • Ontario’s Skills Development Fund is supported through labour market transfer agreements between the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.

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