Ontario funding skilled trades training in Niagara region

The Pacific, ACDF Architecture’s new residential high-rise tower, was designed as a representation of the firm’s effort to rethink skyscraper development.Photo Big Stock

In partnership with Niagara College, the Niagara Homebuilders Association (NHBA) is offering 80 participants a tuition-free opportunity to learn the skills they need for careers as roofers and drywall installers.

To make this opportunity possible, the Ontario government is investing more than $1.2 million in skilled trades training for unemployed and underemployed people in the Niagara Region.

Participants will receive their technical training at the School of Trades at Niagara College, where they can pursue either roofing or drywall installation. For eight weeks, participants will take courses on health and safety, tools and techniques, and other skills specific to their trade.

Each participant will get a hard hat, steel-toed safety boots, safety glasses, and professional-grade tools they need to perform their training—all of which they get to keep. They will then transition to a six-week paid job placement with a local employer in the community. Employers are eligible for up to $5000 per participant to offset wages paid.

“Studies show as many as one-in-five jobs within the province will be in the skilled trades by 2025,” says Richard Lawrence, president of the NHBA. “This program will allow the NHBA and Niagara College to develop and train students with the skills they need to be job site ready to work their way into building a stable career, while filling the void of the 100,000 workers our industry needs over the next decade.”

This project is funded by Ontario’s Skills Development Fund, a more than $200 million initiative which supports innovative programs to connect job seekers with the skills and training they need to find well-paying careers close to home.

“Niagara College is grateful for this funding, which will help us address an urgent need for skilled workers in the residential construction industry,” says Sean Kennedy, president of Niagara College. “Today’s investment by the province supports our important role working closely with industry partners to meet the current and future needs of employers.”

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