Ontario Investing $848,865 in Free Pre-Apprenticeship Training in Whitby

Funding will help train people for in-demand jobs in the skilled trades and address the labour shortage

May 29, 2023

WHITBY — The Ontario government is working for workers by investing $848,865 to boost pre-apprenticeship training and help more people in Whitby get trained for meaningful and well-paying careers. This funding is part of the government’s record investment in nearly 100 free pre-apprenticeship programs around the province to promote careers in the skilled trades to young people and help tackle the province’s historic labour shortage.

“Ontario’s skilled trades are vital to the growth of the economy and our Government’s Plan to Build, offering careers that lead to secure jobs and a good quality of life,” said Lorne Coe, MPP for Whitby and Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier. “Today’s announcement will provide more opportunities for Whitby residents to find a lasting and meaningful career in the Skilled Trades.”
Led by Durham College, this project will provide people who are interested in working in the trades gain the skills and experience they need to get a job as an apprentice with a local employer, so they can earn bigger paycheques for themselves and their families.

“Ontario is combatting the largest labour shortage in a generation, and each one of these jobs unfilled is a paycheque waiting to be collected,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “When you have a career in the skilled trades, you have a career for life. Our government will continue to invest in innovative training opportunities that give young people the tools they need to build better lives for themselves and stronger communities for us all.”

“Pre-apprenticeship programs provide an invaluable pathway for individuals to acquire essential skills and practical experience, setting them on a trajectory towards rewarding careers,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, MPP for Pickering-Uxbridge. “By equipping aspiring workers with the necessary foundation, we empower them to unlock their full potential and contribute meaningfully to our economy and communities.”

To help increase participation in the skilled trades, the government has recently made changes including making it easier for high school students to explore these careers, requiring women’s-only washrooms on constructions sites, announcing a $224 million investment in building and upgrading training centres.

“Our government continues to empower workers, including students and apprentices, who wish to pursue the skilled trades as a means of attaining a fulfilling career” said Todd McCarthy, MPP for Durham. “Durham College enjoys an exemplary reputation for providing quality graduates in the skilled trades and further supporting the pre-apprenticeship program with this funding will address the labour shortage and stimulate growth in key sectors of Ontario’s economy.”

“The skilled trades industry in Ontario is one of our top economic drivers.” said Patrice Barnes, MPP for Ajax, “I am pleased to see this fresh commitment of $848,865 towards approximately 100 free pre-apprenticeship training program. Uplifting employees has been a clear pattern with this government. I have complete confidence that the team at Durham College, which has a reputation for offering top-notch education, will make this program a success.”

This funding announced is part of the government’s nearly $1.5 billion-dollar investment in the Skilled Trades Strategy, from 2021-22 to 2023-24. These initiatives build on the government’s ongoing efforts to attract, support, and protect workers, making Ontario the best place in the world to work, live and raise a family.

“Durham College is happy to be able to provide this training opportunity so more students can enter the skilled trades workforce and keep our economy moving.”

  • Rebecca Milburn, Principal, Whitby Campus Executive Dean, Faculty of Skilled Trades & Apprenticeship and Hospitality and Horticulture Science.

Quick Facts
• In Q1 2023, there were over 300,000 unfilled jobs in Ontario, many of which are in the skilled trades.
• There are over 140 skilled trades in Ontario.
• By 2026, one in five job openings in Ontario are projected to be in the skilled trades.
• Ontario’s construction industry will need to hire almost 100,000 additional workers due to retirements and job growth by 2026.