STOUFFVILLE — The Ontario government is investing almost $3 million to give 166 jobseekers free training and work experience in residential construction across the province. The Job-Ready Program, led by the Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA), will connect trainees with rewarding and well-paying careers in carpentry, drywall installation, cement working, framing, and heavy equipment operation. This announcement follows the more than $1.5 billion our government has committed over the next four years to get more people into the skilled trades and help solve the housing crisis.
“The residential construction industry and its workers build a critical part of our communities – the homes that families across Ontario can call their own,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “As more of these workers retire, we need talented people to fill their boots. Our government is giving people a hand up to well-paying, meaningful careers so they can build better lives for themselves and more homes for us all.”
Program participants will learn about general home building techniques, how to work with power tools, how to of different products in construction, and health and safety on the job. Training will last up to eight months and will be delivered in the classroom and on construction job sites from experienced tradespeople. Virtual training is also available. The project also supports employers currently looking for new talent by helping them with training and providing incentives to hire program graduates.
“While our government’s housing policies are working to address the province’s housing crisis, home prices are still far out of reach for so many Ontarians and their families,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “As Ontario enters a period of economic recovery, our government is working hard to get shovels into the ground to create jobs and build the supply of housing our province needs, to make housing more affordable for all hardworking Ontarians.”
The province is projected to face a shortfall of more than 100,000 construction workers over the next several years, many of which are for positions in residential home building.The OHBA is working with home builder associations and community partners across Ontario to identify regions and employers most in need of skilled workers in residential construction to take part in the program. Participating employers can hire job-ready talent at the end of the program and will be reimbursed up to 30 per cent of the employee’s pay to a maximum of $3,000.
“The Job-Ready Program is an important support to help bring eager entry-level employees into Ontario’s home construction sector,” said OHBA President Bob Schickedanz. “With 166 participants in the program and over 40 per cent of those from underrepresented groups, the Job-Ready Program through the provincial Skills Development Fund is helping unlock new opportunities for in-demand and rewarding careers in communities across Ontario.”
This funding is part of the government’s Skills Development Fund to address challenges to hiring, training, and retraining workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. This builds on the government’s ongoing efforts to attract, support, and protect workers, making Ontario the top place in the world to work, live and raise a family.