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Ontario steps up with “bricks-and-mortar dollars” for skilled trades training centres

March 30, 2023 | By Anthony Capkun

March 30, 2023 – The Ontario government is adding $224 million in additional funding to its Skills Development Fund to build and upgrade skilled trades training centres.

“The Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario welcomes the Ontario government’s new initiative to provide capital training grants to employers, unions, and other training providers in the construction sector,” said ECAO’s Graeme Aitken. “Minister [Monte] McNaughton’s efforts to assist contractors with their capital training requirements is incredibly positive.”

The province also plans to spend $75 million more over the next three years to support the operations and programming at new and existing centres to prepare workers for in-demand careers like electricians, welders and mechanics.

“As we build Ontario, we’re providing more women and men with opportunities to begin or advance their careers in the skilled trades,” said Premier Doug Ford.


Applications for the new Skills Development Fund (SDF) capital stream are expected to open in late spring, and will provide eligible applicants with funding to build new training centres, or to upgrade or convert their existing facilities into training centres with “state-of-the-art design and technology”. This includes facility renovations, retrofits, expansions, repairs and building construction.

Eligible applicants include unions, Indigenous centres, businesses and industry associations.

“By leveraging the expertise of private sector unions, employers, and training providers, we can train and retrain more skilled trades workers to build a strong Ontario,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance.

“The IBEW Construction Council of Ontario applauds Minister McNaughton’s vision to support IBEW’s labour capital training requirements, as well as others in the construction sector,” said IBEW CCO’s James Barry. “To my knowledge, no Ontario government has ever stepped up to help IBEW with bricks-and-mortar dollars. Minister McNaughton deserves great credit for this initiative.”

Ontario’s Skills Development Fund is supported through labour market transfer agreements between the governments of Canada and Ontario.

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