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CANADA'S LEADING INFORMATION SOURCE FOR THE METALWORKING INDUSTRY

Ontario launches skilled trades career fairs across the province

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Ontario's first skilled trades career fair kicks off October 25-27 in Mississauga. PHOTO courtesy Heidenhein.
The Ontario government is launching career fairs this fall to prepare the next generation of young people for jobs in the skilled trades.

These fairs address labour shortages in high-demand sectors. “Ontario is facing the largest labour shortage in a generation, which means when you have a job in the skilled trades, you have a job for life,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “Our government is launching these annual career fairs so more students and parents know university isn’t the only path to success. We will continue to make historic investments to attract more young people to rewarding, lucrative and purpose-driven careers in the trades, and ensure employers can find the skilled workers they need to grow their businesses and our economy.”

Level Up! is a series of multi-day career fairs highlighting the 144 different skilled trades. For the first time, students in grades 7 to 12 will have the opportunity to learn about these trades through interactive exhibitions and hands-on activities, while hearing directly from tradespeople and local employers about these life-changing careers.

The first career fair kicks off October 25 to 27 in Mississauga, with subsequent fairs planned in London, Sudbury, Ottawa and Thunder Bay.

“I am very pleased to see that positive changes are happening for apprentices throughout Ontario and that Skilled Trades Ontario, (STO), will be at the forefront making this happen. The Canadian Tooling & Machining Association’s, (CTMA), member companies sponsor hundreds of apprentices as general machinists, tool & die makers, mould makers, millwrights, industrial electricians and more. It is extremely important for Ontario’s future to provide a well-managed, supportive apprenticeship system and we are excited to work with Skills Trades Ontario to make this happen,” said Robert Cattle, Executive Director, Canadian Tooling & Machining Association.

Additionally, the government says it is “bringing the province’s apprenticeship system into the 21st century”. Skilled Trades Ontario — the provincial agency leading the transition to a simplified, modernized skilled trades and apprenticeship system — is introducing digital logbooks that allow apprentices to electronically track their progress, instead of carrying paper books. This new online solution coincides with the launch of the agency’s official logo and branding, now on their website.

“At Skilled Trades Ontario, our job is to make it easier for apprentices and trades professionals to reach their goals and get the word out to more people about career opportunities right here in Ontario,” said Melissa Young, CEO and Registrar, Skilled Trades Ontario. “Digital logbooks are part of our plan to revolutionize Ontario’s apprenticeship system, while our new brand celebrates there is a skilled trade out there for every passion.”
There are currently more than 360,000 jobs going unfilled across the province, while one in five new job openings in Ontario are projected to be in the skilled trades by 2025.

The Level Up! skilled trades career fairs are open to all students, including First Nations schools and all publicly funded school boards. In addition to Mississauga on October 25 to 27, career fairs are taking place in London, November 9 and 10; Sudbury, November 14 and 15; Ottawa, November 22 and 23; and Thunder Bay, November 29.
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