Whitby, Ontario — Contending with a skilled trades gap that isn’t getting any smaller, the Ontario government has announced that they will be expanding the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP).
This expansion will see an additional $2.9 million in funding for OYAP, bringing the government’s total investment in the program to $20 million. Currently, OYAP has 63 recruiters working across more than 800 schools.
The announcement was delivered by Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development Monte McNaughton and Minister of Education Stephen Lecce at GP Bikes in Whitby, Ont.
“When you have a job in the skilled trades, you have a job for life,” said McNaughton.
“Ontario’s trades are the backbone of our economy. More young people need to know that a job in the trades opens doors to bigger paycheques, with a pension and benefits. The trades can be their ticket to building a better life, strong family, and a stronger community for us all.”
The government estimates that as many as one in five jobs in Ontario will be in the skilled trades by 2025, but the average age of people entering the trades is 29. At the same time, a third of tradespeople are nearing retirement, meaning the province is projected to face a shortfall of 100,000 construction workers over the decade.