Photo: Skills Canada AlbertaClick image to enlarge

The Alberta and Ontario governments have announced new investments to promote careers and training in the trades.

In Alberta, the government of Premier Jason Kenney is increasing its funding to Skills Canada Alberta to $8 million over the next four years, ramping up annual investment from $1.5 million to $2 million over that time. The added funding will help support increased exposure to trades and technology careers in high schools and will also help to send more high school and post-secondary students to regional, provincial and national skilled trades competitions with Skills Canada Alberta.

While the Alberta government recently scrapped the popular Summer Temporary Employment Program (STEP) in its first budget, Premier Kenney said that it was part of a new focus on skilled apprenticeships. The cancellation will save Alberta $32 million over four years, and instead the province is increasing funding for other student job support programs. It is investing $10 million through Women Building Futures and $2 million for Skills Canada. The Edmonton Journal reports that Alberta is also providing $11.4 million for CAREERS: The Next Generation, over the next four years, tripling the existing funding levels with an increasing top-up over four years that will reach $4.3 million annually and a total of $6 million by 2022-23.

In Ontario, Premier Doug Ford’s government plans to invest $20.8 million in the province’s Pre-Apprenticeship Training program to help introduce some 1800 people to potential jobs in the trades. This year Ontario spend an additional $2.5 million on the program, which will enable it to connect 200 more people to job possibilities. The program, which is free for participants and includes a work placement, is delivered by Ontario colleges, private career colleges, union and non-union training centres and other community organizations, reports Pulp & Paper Canada.

In the Greater Toronto Area, the province will fund 28 projects that will train more than 600 in a variety of trades.

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