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Summer 2024 – Ontario to take the skilled trades on a massive road trip

July 25, 2023 | By Anthony Capkun

The Trades & Tech Truck is a “mobile unit of fun experiential learning!”. Source: Skills Ontario.

July 25, 2023 – The Ontario government is spending $5.4 million to design and build three mobile tech classrooms that will travel across the province and teach students and young people about the skilled trades.

“This latest investment by the Government of Ontario into the Skills Ontario mobile tech units will provide the all-important initial exposure to our youth by bringing hands-on learning stations and leading-edge simulators directly to their doorstep,” said Jonathan White, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers. “This is a wonderful initiative and a great investment into the future of the province.”

Built and operated by Skills Ontario, the classrooms will feature hands-on learning stations and simulators for electrical systems, welding, crane operation, auto-painting, tire and brake work, heavy machinery and more.

“Since rolling out our first Trades & Tech truck last year, our mobile classroom has provided thousands of students with hands-on learning experiences,” said Ian Howcroft, CEO, Skills Ontario. “This program ignites an awareness of opportunities in the skilled trades and tech field that inspires more young people to pursue these careers.”

The three, 12-m long Trades & Tech Trucks will travel across the province, providing students an opportunity to explore the skilled trades and speak with industry members, while learning about local training opportunities, colleges and employers. Over three years, they will help nearly half a million people explore the skilled trades.

“By 2025, one in five jobs in Ontario will be in the skilled trades. These are rewarding, well-paying careers that you can build a family and a life around,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development.

The province helped launch the Trades & Tech Truck pilot program in 2022. The first truck reached over 40,000 students and young people, says the ministry, visiting more than 50 events across the province.

These new mobile classrooms will be fully operational by the summer of 2024 and will accommodate 150,000 visitors a year.

The project is funded through the government’s Skills Development Fund, a $700+ million initiative that supports programs that connect jobseekers with skills and training.

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