CTMA launches another round of Career-Ready program

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The CTMA has received funding to provide 300 Experiential Work Placements (EWPs), to encourage more career opportunities within the precision metalworking sector. PHOTO courtesy CTMA.

The Canadian Tooling & Machining Association (CTMA) is extending its Career-Ready with CTMA: Expanding Opportunities program for another year.

The CTMA has received funding from the Skills Development Fund, through Ontario’s Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development (MLITSD), to provide 300 Experiential Work Placements (EWPs), to encourage more career opportunities within the precision metalworking sector.

Applications will be accepted between April 1, 2024, and January 13, 2025, and will be assessed on a first-come first-served basis until all funds have been fully allocated.

Eligible employers may receive non-repayable contributions to subsidize the wages of new hires or to upskill existing employees that meet the program’s eligibility criteria. Participating employers could receive up to $15,000 for each participant, depending on start date.

“We know that our members are training people everyday in their workplaces and that this comes at a cost,” said Robert Cattle, CTMA’s executive director. “If we help support them by offering a wage subsidy to compensate for their time, they will hire more employees, offer more co-ops and upskill more existing employees, which in turn is great for the industry.”

The program is designed to support experiential learning opportunities, which is a hands-on learning model where participants learn by doing. The goal is to provide participants with real-world work experience to help more people increase their skills for great job opportunities in the precision metalworking sector, which includes machining, tool & die making, mould making, jig & fixture building, automation/robotics, additive manufacturing, and other related businesses.

Participants include individuals who want to start an apprenticeship, high school graduates, post-secondary graduates or co-op students, job seekers looking for full-time employment, and existing employees looking to upskill.

Through the second part of this program, the CTMA, in partnership with the Ontario Council for Technology Education (OCTE), the Government of Ontario, the Government of Canada, and school boards throughout Ontario, will continue to provide new high-tech machinery and tools to high schools throughout Ontario.

To date, the Career-Ready program has already provided new machinery and tools to 130 high schools throughout the province, ranging from CNC milling centres, lathes, and plasma cutters, to CNC desktop milling machines, high precision conventional milling machines, lathes with readouts, and more.

“Delivering these machines to high schools throughout Ontario and exposing students to technology at an earlier age has been instrumental in engaging their interest for a career within our industry,” said Cattle. “Not only does this allow students to use this technology at an earlier age, but also gives teachers up-to-date machinery in their classrooms.”

As a result, more than 15,000 students have been exposed to and have benefitted from this machinery. Of the 15,000 students, more than 3,500 have begun industry-related co-ops or apprenticeships; and these numbers will continue to increase.

“To build a stronger Ontario that leaves no one behind, we need to ensure young people can get a hand up to the skills they need for in-demand jobs,” said David Piccini, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “That is why our government will continue to invest in innovative projects like CTMA’s Career-Ready program, which connects students and graduates to local employers and spreads opportunity to every corner of our province.”

More information about Career-Ready with CTMA is available at

This employment Ontario program is funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.

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