SDG program will train 30 people in high-demand skilled trades over next year

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Workers within SDG will be able to receive some help through a 12-week skilled trades training program.

The SkillsAdvance Ontario project will train three cohorts of 10 job seekers to become registered apprentices. The 12-week program runs from March 1 to Feb. 28, 2022 and will include two weeks of recruitment; two weeks of pre-employment services; three weeks of essential and technical skills training, and five weeks of employment services.

The program is being led by the Eastern Ontario Training Board with $254,779 in funding from the provincial government over the next year.

“This funding helps employers to train the skilled workers they need for their business and create job opportunities for people from the region. Everybody wins,” said Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry MPP Jim McDonell. “This project is good news for people and businesses in Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry.”

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The program is needed to address a projected shortage of skilled trades workers in the near future due to an aging population.

“…One in three journeypersons today are over the age of 55, so we’re reaching a crisis point in the shortage of skilled trades in Ontario,” said Monte McNaughton, the Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development.

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Even last year, when the global pandemic cut jobs to near record-levels, businesses had trouble finding employees for skilled trades, according to a survey of 252 businesses last year by the EOTB.

In 2016, which is the most recent data from StatsCan, the top-10 skilled trades jobs employed 5,500 people in SDG and Prescott-Russell, and accounted for 6.6 per cent of employment, according to the EOTB. This is compared to just 2.8 per cent in Ottawa, and 4.1 per cent in the province.

“In SDG 71.3 per cent of the workforce was over age 45 and more than 50 per cent were over age 55 as of 2016,” said Diane Soucey, a labour analyst for the EOTB, in the report.

However, not only is the demand for young, skilled workers projected to increase drastically despite a stagnation in the supply of workers, the number of jobs is also expected to increase. In SDG and Prescott-Russell, the top 10 sectors are projected to grow 33 per cent between now and 2024, according to the EOTB.

“We know that one out of every five jobs in the next five years is going to be in the skilled trades.” said McNaughton. “Supporting innovative training projects in communities across the province is part of our plan to help people recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and develop the in-demand skills needed for the future.”

The funding is a portion of the $614.3 million allocated for eligible employers to train more workers.

jhaworth@postmedia.com

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