Ontario takes Action to Address Skilled Trades Shortage
The Government of Ontario is taking action to attract more people to the skilled trades and employers to hire more apprentices. The province is facing a serious labour shortage which has the potential to get progressively worse. On any given day tens of thousands of jobs go unfilled and many of those are in the skilled trades.
On May 29, 2019, Ontario passed the Modernizing the Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2019 to help transform the skilled trades and apprenticeship system, reduce red tape and make Ontario open for business and open for jobs.
A new advertising campaign, titled “Find a Career You Wouldn’t Trade” reflects the passion of real skilled tradespeople in their work environments. It features up-close footage of three skilled trades people with in-demand careers and high income potential: a tower crane operator, a steamfitter and an arborist.
"We need to do a better job at enticing young people and their parents to the skilled trades," says Markham-Stouffville MPP Paul Calandra. "For too long, we haven't viewed these challenging positions as a viable first option. That needs to change and our Open for Business, Open for Jobs strategy, including our new advertising campaign, will go a long way towards making the skilled trades more attractive."
The ads are just one part of the government's strategy to open up the skilled trades for young people and businesses. The government is also investing approximately $75 million in three programs to expose high school students to the trades: $12.7 million in the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program, $42 million in the Specialist High Skills major program and $20.8 million in a pre-apprenticeship program.
"The reality is that the skilled trades offer exciting and challenging careers that often require solid math and problem-solving skills, and expose people to the latest technologies such as 3D printing and robotics", says Calandra. "When it comes to opportunity, to earning potential, to having a chance to start your own business, the skilled trades come out on top."
Over the first nine months of 2019, Ontario employers had, on average, 204,000 job openings across all occupations and industries. Of these, 13,000 were in the construction sector.
Information on Apprenticeship training in Markham is available at:
140 Allstate Parkway, Suite 505
- Employers interested in taking on apprentices can register at Ontario.ca/HireAnApprentice
- For a full list of skilled trades in Ontario, please visit Ontario.ca/trades
- To find out more about pre-apprenticeship opportunities near you, contact Employment Ontario by phone, e-mail or live chat.
- Apprenticeship in Ontario