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Guests of ApprenticeSearch.com’s open house have a “passion for the skilled trades”

February 24, 2023 | By Anthony Capkun

Top right: Kelly Hoey, executive director, HIEC-ApprenticeSearch.com

February 24, 2023 – ApprenticeSearch.com welcomed skilled trades job seekers, employers, partners and government stakeholders to its Burlington, Ont., offices for its inaugural “Gateway to the Trades” open house.

“Whether it was employers who were looking to hire and train the next generation of skilled professionals, job seekers who were looking for a gateway into the skilled trades employment, or partners and government stakeholders who are committed to making the skilled trades pathway accessible and appealing to young people, everyone who attended our events this week had one thing in common—a passion for the skilled trades,” said Kelly Hoey, executive director, HIEC-ApprenticeSearch.com.

The two-day event provided future skilled trades professionals with the opportunity to build their network and their knowledge of the skilled trades pathway, says HIEC, with a focus on connecting to opportunities for meaningful and rewarding employment in the trades.

The Open House featured Skills Ontario, which brought its “Trades and Tech Truck” to give participants a hands-on skilled trades experience. In addition, Ryobi Tools representatives provided tool demonstrations to participants, and multiple local employers participated in a panel highlighting the opportunities available in the trades.


“Our partnership with these programs is so important as we look to help them in outfitting their graduates for work in the field to build a long and successful career,” said Adrian Gavrilov, Techtronic Industries Canada Inc. (Ryobi).

Melissa Young, CEO and Registrar, Skilled Trades Ontario, addressed event participants and discussed her agency’s mandate to simplify access to services for skilled trades professionals, promote the skilled trades as a career of choice and address the labour shortage in the skilled trades.

“Ontario is facing a growing labour shortage and today was a fantastic opportunity to get the word out about the excellent opportunities open to young people in our province,” said Young. “Events like these are crucial to supporting our next generation of skilled trades professionals.”

The open house complements ApprenticeSearch.com’s Gateway to the Trades Program, says HIEC, which is supporting over 350 individuals as they build on their secondary school education with employability skills, health & safety training, tools, workwear and employment opportunities.

There is no shortage of job seekers who are interested in the skilled trades, said Hoey; however, “The real need is for programs like ours to provide an entry point into that career pathway with dedicated and tailored support and—most importantly—employer connections that lead to successful employment.”

This Employment Ontario Program is funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario through the Skills Development Fund.

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