Province unveils new initiatives to tackle labour shortages and modernize skilled trades
Queen’s Park is launching career fairs this fall to prepare the next generation of young people for rewarding and well-paying jobs in the skilled trades. These fairs address labour shortages in high-demand sectors and help deliver the province’s ambitious infrastructure plans, including building 1.5 million homes by 2031.
“Ontario is facing the largest labour shortage in a generation, which means when you have a job in the skilled trades, you have a job for life,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “Our government is launching these annual career fairs so more students and parents know university isn’t the only path to success. We will continue to make historic investments to attract more young people to rewarding, lucrative and purpose-driven careers in the trades, and ensure employers can find the skilled workers they need to grow their businesses and our economy.”
Level Up! is a series of dynamic, multi-day career fairs highlighting the 144 different skilled trades. For the first time, students in grades 7 to 12 will have the opportunity to learn about these trades through interactive exhibitions and hands-on activities, while hearing directly from tradespeople and local employers about these life-changing careers. The first career fair kicks off October 25 to 27 in Mississauga, with subsequent fairs planned in London, Sudbury, Ottawa and Thunder Bay.
“We are on a mission to fill the skills gap by better connecting and ultimately inspiring Ontario students to enter these good-paying jobs that are in demand. We are expanding career fairs and enhancing pathways to apprenticeship throughout the curriculum,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. “By placing a real emphasis on life and job skills like coding, financial literacy and budgeting, we are ensuring Ontario students graduate with a competitive advantage and land good-paying jobs.”
Additionally, the government is bringing the province’s apprenticeship system into the 21st century. Skilled Trades Ontario (STO) — the provincial agency leading the transition to a simplified, modernized skilled trades and apprenticeship system — is introducing digital logbooks that allow apprentices to electronically track their progress, instead of carrying paper books. This new online solution coincides with the launch of the agency’s official logo and branding, now on their website.
“At Skilled Trades Ontario, our job is to make it easier for apprentices and trades professionals to reach their goals and get the word out to more people about career opportunities right here in Ontario,” said Melissa Young, CEO and Registrar, Skilled Trades Ontario. “Digital logbooks are part of our plan to revolutionize Ontario’s apprenticeship system, while our new brand celebrates there is a skilled trade out there for every passion.”
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