Toronto, Ontario — It can be tough to teach a trades course from a parking lot, so the Ontario government announced Tuesday that it will be investing about $300,000 to build and upgrade training facilities in the province, in the aim of giving future tradespeople better facilities to hone their skills.
By late spring, organizations such as unions, industry associations, Indigenous centres and private businesses will be able to apply to the Skills Development Fund (SDF) for assistance in building new or upgrading existing skills training facilities.
The government’s announcement specifies that funding is eligible for projects such as facility renovations, retrofits, expansions, repairs and building construction.
The funding will be divided such that $224 million is dedicated to the construction, conversion or renovation of training facilities, while the remaining $75 million will be re-invested annually and will go toward the support of programs and operations at the facilities.
Jack Oliveira, business manager of the LiUNA! Local 183 in Vaughan, was on hand for Tuesday’s announcement, where he voiced enthusiasm for the three-year funding plan that he feels will build on the ground gained in prior investments into skills training.
“LiUNA! 183 fully supports the Ontario Government’s investment in upskilling and re-training our workforce through the Skills Development Fund,” he said.
“The first three rounds of the SDF were tremendously successful and saw thousands of people receive skills for rewarding careers in industries such as the skilled trades. The newly announced ‘Capital’ stream will ensure that training providers in Ontario have the necessary tools and resources to continue their great work. We are proud to partner with Premier Ford and Minister McNaughton in this initiative.”
More details on the government’s specific approach to this plan are due to come with the release of the 2023 Ontario budget on Thursday.