Ontario Helping Underprivileged Youth Start Careers in ConstructionPublished on July 26, 2021
Investment will train young people for good jobs in the skilled trades
The Ontario government is investing over $600,000 to help 390 young people from underrepresented backgrounds train for and secure apprenticeships in the construction sector. The funding will open doors to careers in the plumbing, steam fitting, electrical, elevator mechanic and refrigeration trades through programs delivered by Hammer Heads, a non-profit organization that supports underprivileged youth from the Greater Toronto Area.
“Not every young person needs to go to university. Rewarding jobs in the construction sector are growing, well-paid and going unfilled,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “Hammer Heads helps guide talented, trained and eager young people along their journey to these life-changing careers with education and hands-on learning. These projects will help boost our economy and give these young workers a leg up.”
The investment consists of funding for three projects that support youth who are trained through the Hammer Heads pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs:
- $350,569 for a free pre-apprenticeship program led by Hammer Heads to enable 18 youths, in two cohorts of nine, to participate in Hammer Heads’ 10-week program preparing them for careers in the construction sector. The program covers health and safety training, helps participants with academic upgrading and provides soft skills job preparation, construction skills training and placement with a union for an apprenticeship. The program for the first cohort began on June 21, and for the second cohort begins on January 17, 2022.
- $218,200 for the Pinball Clemons Foundation to mentor 300 graduates of the Hammer Heads pre-apprenticeship program in years two through six of their apprenticeships, ensuring they have the support they need to successfully complete apprenticeship training. The Hammer Heads program currently guides program graduates through the first year of apprenticeship employment.
- $34,314 for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 353 to create and deliver the Hammer Heads Virtual Reality Safety Training project, which will help 72 Hammer Heads participants travel virtually onto real construction sites to learn about safety hazards and best practices.
These new programs are part of Ontario’s $115-million Skills Development Fund, designed to support fresh ideas for training and skills development that will help our economy recover and prosper.