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Ontario promotes skilled trades


January 15, 2020
By Canadian Pizza

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Toronto – The Ontario government has launched a marketing campaign to highlight good-quality, well-paying and flexible careers in the trades.

The campaign’s slogan is “Find a Career You Wouldn’t Trade” and its goal is to attract more people to the skilled trades and employers to hire more apprentices.

Like other provinces, Ontario is facing a serious labour shortage that has the potential to get progressively worse.

“We need to do a better job at enticing young people and their parents to the skilled trades,” said Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development Monte McNaughton at a press conference on Jan. 10. “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.”

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The advertising campaign reflects the passion of real skilled tradespeople in their work environments. It features up-close footage of three skilled tradespeople with in-demand careers and high income potential: a tower crane operator, a steamfitter and an arborist.

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,” said the minister. “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.

People can view the ads for students and parents on ONgov Youtube.

The ads will run digitally, in movie theatres and on Tim Hortons TV across the province.

Employers interested in taking on apprentices can register at Ontario.ca/HireAnApprentice

To find out more about pre-apprenticeship opportunities near you, contact Employment Ontario by phone, e-mail or live chat.

On May 29, 2019, Ontario passed the Modernizing the Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2019 to help transform the skilled trades and apprenticeship system and reduce red tape.