Canadian Contractor

By Canadian Contractor staff   

Ontario providing free job training for at-risk workers in London

Canadian Contractor Trades & Hiring

July 7, 2023 – The Ontario government is investing $2.5 million to support four free training projects to help 385 jobseekers and 2,300 students who face barriers to employment prepare for meaningful jobs with local businesses in London and across southwestern Ontario.

Research has shown that more than two-thirds of people over the age of 55 feel the job market is closed to them, while the youth in Ontario are unemployed at a rate twice as high as the provincial average, all while more than 17,000 jobs are going unfilled in the London area.

“As Ontario continues to combat a historic labour shortage, we need to ensure everyone in our community gets a fair shot at the training they need to land life-changing careers,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development, in a press release. “These free projects will help level the playing field and give disadvantaged young people, seniors – everyone in between – in London a chance at better jobs and bigger paycheques.”

Led by Over 55 London, Youth Opportunities Unlimited, Pathways Employment Help Centre and WePrep Inc./LiUNA Local 1059, the programs announced will prioritize those traditionally shut out of the job market, such as at-risk youth and those over the age of 55. They will prepare jobseekers for careers in construction, manufacturing, property maintenance, hospitality, retail, and other in-demand industries in London and the surrounding region.


“In partnership with Ontario’s Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development, Youth Opportunities Unlimited is striving to remove the barriers that prevent youth from accessing skilled training as the next step on their career path. We’re working with Fanshawe College and Michael + Clark Construction to provide skilled training, on-the-job paid experience and additional supports that will help 60 youth pursue careers in construction trades,” said Steve Cordes, CEO at Youth Opportunities Unlimited.

Participants will have the chance to explore a range of employment and training options through hands-on training, apprenticeships, on-the-job learning, and financial literacy courses. They will also have access to free equipment like work boots and tools, and support with living expenses, childcare, transportation, and mental health resources, to ensure a smooth transition to the job market.

These projects are funded through the government’s Skills Development Fund, an over $700 million initiative, which supports ground-breaking programs that connect jobseekers with the skills and training they need to find well-paying careers close to home. For more information on how to register, contact one of the participating organizations.


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