Get ‘Career-Ready’ with CTMA Work Program

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Program helps match employers with students, recent grads, and/or potential new apprentices

The Career-Ready with CTMA program has been extended for another year. First launched in 2019, this successful program was designed to help close the skilled trades gap in the Machine, Tool, Die, Mould and Automation (MTDMA) sector in support of the auto manufacturing industry. 

New this year is an advanced manufacturing stream supporting the automotive industry. Advanced manufacturers can include businesses that develops and adopts innovative technologies to create new products, enhance processes and establish more efficient and cost-effective ways of working with 30 per cent of its total sales revenue from the automotive supply sector. This includes manufacturers that have shifted to produce medical supplies and equipment in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Career-Ready with CTMA program is beneficial for employers seeking to fill positions relevant to the automotive industry, and for students looking for placements to gain practical workplace skills and experience,” says Robert Cattle, executive director, CTMA.

Career-Ready will provide up to 240 Experiential Work Placements for co-op students or recent graduates from Ontario’s publicly assisted post-secondary institutions, as well as potential new apprentices. Work placements run for 10 to 16 weeks and consecutive placements are permitted within the program’s timeframe.

“The goal is to provide participants with real-world experience that improves their employability by building their knowledge and skills, while also supporting employers by contributing to the cost of hiring,” says Cattle.

Eligible employers will receive $3,000 to $5,000 in funding for each work placement to assist with the cost of hiring and can receive funding for up to 12 candidates. There is a list of industry-specific Technical Learning Outcomes that employers must follow and monitored visits will be conducted during the work placements—in-person or virtually. 

“The Career-Ready program gave me the chance to further my knowledge in the mouldmaking industry by working at Cavalier Tool, and allowed me to continue in my post-secondary schooling without having to worry about the financial part of it,” says Kinyara King, a 2019 Career-Ready participant. “Without this funding, a lot of what I am
doing now would not be possible. The Career-Ready program has helped me develop my skills and pursue my career.”

Each candidate will work alongside experienced tradespeople, skilled workers and other professionals who will provide the opportunity to gain real world skills and knowledge. Upon successful completion, candidates may be offered permanent employment by the employer. 

“We’re thrilled we can help connect students, recent grads, and potential new apprentices with real-world skills and experience,” says Cattle.

Candidate must be paid an hourly wage of at least $14 per hour, for the duration of the placement. 

“Advantages of the Career-Ready program include the ability to assist in covering the costs of training new employees, encouraging our youth and new graduates into the industry, and the pride of promoting economic development in Ontario,” says Lori Kennedy, Cavalier Tool. “Career-Ready not only helps address these needs, but also the obligations we have as good corporate citizens to perpetuate skilled trades and manufacturing. Given the growth that Cavalier Tool has had over the last few years; this incentive is appreciated and has helped us fill the skills gap the industry is experiencing.”

The Career-Ready program runs until March 31, 2021. Employers who hired students, recent grads, or new apprentices after April 1, 2020, can receive retroactive funding.

Hiring grants are available on a first-come, first-served basis for employers meeting the program’s eligibility criteria. For more information, visit SMT

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