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Ontario Investing $834,000 in Free Pre-apprenticeship Training in Peterborough


Peterborough, ON (July 6, 2023) – From the Office of Dave Smith, MPP, Peterborough-Kawartha: Today Member of Provincial Parliament for Peterborough-Kawartha Dave Smith and Brett Goodwin, Executive Vice President, Academic and Applied Research & Innovation at Sir Sandford Fleming College, announced an investment of $834,690 for two projects at Sir Sandford Fleming College to boost pre-apprenticeship training and help more people in Peterborough-Kawartha get trained for meaningful and well-paying careers in an in-demand industry. This funding is part of the government’s record investment in nearly 100 free pre-apprenticeship programs around the province to promote careers in the skilled trades to young people and help tackle the province’s historic labour shortage.

“Ontario’s skilled trades are vital to the growth of the economy and our government’s Plan to Build, offering careers that lead to secure jobs and a good quality of life,” said Dave Smith, MPP for Peterborough-Kawartha. “We made a promise to build more homes and we need feet on the ground to make that happen. Having these incentives for Carpenters and Plumbers to develop the skills needed to fulfil that commitment,” Dave Smith added.

Led by Sir Sandford Fleming College, this project will provide over 36 people who are interested in working in the trades gain the skills and experience they need to get a job as a Carpentry or Plumbing apprentice with a local employer, so they can earn bigger paycheques for themselves and their families.

“Ontario is combating the largest labour shortage in a generation, an each one of these jobs unfilled is a paycheque waiting to be collected,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “When you have a career in the skilled trades, you have a career for life. Our government will continue to invest in innovative training opportunities that give young people the tools they need to build better lives for themselves and stronger communities for us all.”

To help increase participation in the skilled trades, the government has recently made changes including making it easier for high school students to explore these careers, requiring women’s only washrooms on construction sites and announcing a $224 million investment in building and upgrading training centres.

“These pre-apprenticeship programs, which are available at no cost, will attract prospective students to Fleming College who otherwise might not have considered a career in Skilled Trades,” said Fleming College President Maureen Adamson. “This access to education will begin to address the gaps in our labour force and help build strong communities. We thank the Ontario government for their continued dedication to education and for creating opportunities for students,” Adamson added.

Peterborough-Kawartha MPP Dave Smith accepts a gift from Fleming College following a funding announcement at the Sutherland Campus July 6, 2023.

This funding announced is part of the government’s nearly $1.5 billion-dollar investment in the Skilled Trades Strategy, from 2021-22 to 2023-24. These initiatives build on the government’s ongoing efforts to attract, support, and protect workers, making Ontario the best place in the world to work, live and raise a family.

Quick Facts
• In Q1 2023, there were over 300,000 unfilled jobs in
Ontario, many of which are in the skilled trades.
• There are over 140 skilled trades in Ontario.
• By 2026, one in five job openings in Ontario are projected to be in the skilled trades.
• Ontario’s construction industry will need to hire almost 100,000 additional workers due to retirements and job growth by 2026.

Additional Resources
Apprenticeship in Ontario
Trade Up to a Career in the Skilled Trades
Skilled Trades Ontario: A New Agency to Better Serve Tradespeople