Ontario funds initiatives to recruit more tradeswomen

Women currently constitute less than 5% of the construction workforce in Ontario.

Labour Minister Monte McNaughton announces new funding for trades recruitment. – Government of Ontario

Key Takeaways:

  • Ontario is contributing $3.6 million towards several initiatives being led by the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario (PBCTCO).
  • The free programs will focus on increasing female participation, providing online training tools and exclusive employment opportunities to jobseekers.
  • The will also give grade 12 students a first-hand look at careers in construction.

The Whole Story:

The Ontario government has announced $3.6 million in funding to drive innovation in the construction trades sector and recruit more diverse tradespeople. 

Spearheaded by the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario (PBCTCO), the initiatives are set to address the industry’s gender gap in the field by bolstering online training resources, offering exclusive employment avenues, and giving high school seniors a firsthand glimpse into construction careers.

“Under the leadership of Premier Ford, our government will continue to invest in training programs that spread life-changing opportunity to anyone who wants a hand up to a bigger paycheque and a better life,” said Monte McNaughton, minister of labour, immigration, training and skills development. “We are proud to support these new projects that help women and young people enter the trades and find purpose-driven careers.”

Women currently constitute less than 5% of the construction workforce in Ontario. This underrepresentation has prompted the inaugural PBCTCO project. It is expected to benefit 700 women in trades. The endeavor aims to empower these tradeswomen by equipping them with leadership, communication, health, safety training, and networking prospects imperative for propelling their careers forward. The project will also see the establishment of a speaker’s bureau, fostering partnerships between tradeswomen and educational institutions, employment agencies, trade expos, and various events across the province, thereby mentoring and attracting more women to the skilled trades.

“The support extended by the Government of Ontario to invest in and expand these three pivotal projects in collaboration with organized skilled trades and our employer partners is greatly valued,” said Marc Arsenault, business manager at PBCTCO. “While each project holds its unique significance, together they converge to empower the workforce of tomorrow and broaden opportunities within skilled trades for marginalized groups. This investment aligns with a data-driven strategy towards workforce development, set to generate avenues for Ontarians to embark on enriching careers that contribute to our province.”

The second initiative is slated to offer a digital gateway for 1,500 individuals to delve into a plethora of online resources and training tools, designed to facilitate exploration of various skilled trades, fostering core competencies and connecting aspirants with potential apprenticeship opportunities. Through this online platform, participants will be directly linked with local employers, streamlining their entry into the industry. Aspiring candidates keen on unraveling unionized career opportunities within the skilled trades can find more information by visiting www.ctaontario.ca/explore.

Further enhancing this transformative agenda, PBCTCO’s “Tomorrow’s Trades” program is set to make a return, inviting 60 grade 12 students from London and Ottawa to immerse themselves in hands-on learning experiences.


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