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Basic Training: Ontario funds ‘boot camp’ program to encourage trades participation

Chatham, Ontario—The Ontario government has announced it is allocating $4 million to Support Ontario Youth to launch a boot camp-style program to introduce young people to the trades.

The program, called Tools in the Trades Boot Camps, will aim to help up to 2,100 young people access training and networking opportunities to enter various trades, including automotive service technicians.

The funding will allow for 70, separate, one day bootcamps in communities that have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic to provide youth with training, resume-writing help and introductions to prospective employers in the industrial, construction, motive power and service sectors.

“There are many rewarding, well-paid opportunities in the skilled trades and there will be even more in the coming years as more tradespeople retire and jobs grow,” said Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development Monte McNaughton. “This great project will offer over 2,000 young people an opportunity to get basic skills and form valuable connections in skilled trades that open doors to apprenticeships and meaningful careers. We want to inspire and prepare people for these exciting paths and ensure they succeed on their journey so employers can find the talent they need.”

Tools in the Trades Boot Camps will run from September 2021 to March 2022, and invites grade 12 students with an interest in trades, people who lost their job during COVID-19 and people looking to start a new career; with a focus on Indigenous youth, people of colour, women and new Canadians.

Those wishing to participate must fill out a questionnaire through Support Ontario Youth’s website. A software program called “talent sorter” will determine their compatibility with their selected trade.

Each participant will get to keep a $250 basic set of tools to use during the training.

It is expected that 500 employers and industry associations and 300 education and training providers will be involved in the project.

This program is introduced through the province’s Skilled Trades Strategy, supported by Ontario’s $115-million Skills Development Fund.

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