TORONTO - A strong workforce in Canada is crucial for a prosperous economic recovery. The skilled trades play a vital role in that recovery. The Government of Canada is investing $890,000 in the College of Carpenters and Allied Trades (CCAT, in Woodbridge), to help train, support and maintain a qualified skilled trades workforce.
On May 20, Member of Parliament for Vaughan-Woodbridge and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue, Francesco Sorbara made the announcement, via Zoom, on behalf of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough. The funds are made available for a project funded under the Union Training and Innovation Program (UTIP).
The investment will enable CCAT to implement and improve online learning to a greater extent. Covid-19 restrictions have presented some challenges in training the next generation of tradespeople.
The injection of funds will facilitate the College to pivot training programs to a virtual format as a means of supporting a stronger, more diverse group of carpenters in the workforce.
“Skilled tradespeople are a key component of Canada’s workforce”, MP Sorbara said in the press release. “The investment will help build a pool of qualified tradespeople in Vaughan-Woodbridge, and in communities across the Greater Toronto Area who are ready to take on critical jobs as our economy continues to recover”, he added.
The demand for workers in the skilled trades remains strong. As the workforce continues to age, it is expected that nearly 700,000 skilled trades labourers are expected to retire between 2019-2028. The funding is part of a greater $62 million investment by the Government of Canada over the next five years to help train and prepare Canadians to fill available jobs in the skilled trades.
Reaction to the government’s announcement was positive. Cristina Selva, Executive Director of CCAT, said: “The College of Carpenters and Allied Trades is very grateful for the federal government’s UTIP investment”.
Through the development of online training courses for both apprentices and journey carpenters, traditionally taught in classrooms, the aim is to reduce barriers to participation and increase the diversity of a highly skilled workforce. The targeted investments will help strengthen opportunities in the trades for all Canadians including: women, newcomers, marginalized members of society and persons with disabilities.
(photo credits P. Pajdo)