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Skilled Trades News & Events

NEWS | SEP 23 2020

Drive Ability – Opening Doors Program

Drive Ability – Opening Doors Fuel Your Talent Pipeline

Funded by the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSD), The Drive Ability program aims to address the skilled labour needs of automotive and advanced manufacturing employers in Ontario. This initiative is a collaborative partnership between seven post-secondary institutions (George Brown College, York University, Georgian College, Mohawk College, Fanshawe College, Conestoga College, and Sheridan College) that leverages broad expertise to address talent shortages and provide quality work integrated learning opportunities for students, apprentices, and new graduates.

Work placements are typically four-month terms, depending on the discipline, and begin in May, September, and January. The ministry requires the length of a placement to be at least 10 weeks and can last up to four months. Employers may be eligible for multiple work placements during the program lifecycle.

Employer Eligibility

The following employers are eligible for the work placement incentive:

Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in the auto sector.

Manufacturers in the automotive supply chain to OEMs. At least 50 per cent of the company’s total sales revenue must come from the automotive supply sector.

Advanced Manufacturers with a footprint in the auto sector. At least 30 per cent of their company’s total sales revenue must come from the automotive supply sector. Advanced manufacturing employers may fall under one or more of the following areas: production activities dependent on ICT (Information and Communications Technology), automation, computation, software, sensing, and data transfer networking (Internet of Things, or IoT) technology developers/suppliers.

Participant Eligibility

Students – diploma, certificate and degree students – in any year of study and including graduate and international students.

Recent Graduates – individuals who completed their academic program of study (a minimum of a one-year program) at a publicly-assisted postsecondary institution within the previous eighteen months and currently have no full-time job/employment.

Apprentices – individuals who, at the beginning of their work placement under this program, have signed new Registered Training Agreement (RTAs). Pursuant to an RTA, the Apprentice will receive training in a trade required as part of an apprenticeship program in Ontario. The individual may have worked with the employer prior to starting the RTA, but not as an Apprentice.


$3,000 per eligible and completed work placement by an eligible participant (i.e. student, recent grad or apprentice).

$5,000 per eligible and completed work placement by an eligible participant with one or more disabilities.

Wage support from all sources (e.g. the employer, Co-op Education Tax Credit and Career Ready Fund’s Auto Stream) cannot exceed 100% of the wages paid to a participant.

To find out more contact: Gordana Mihajlovic, T – 905-575-2168│

NEWS | SEP 22 2020

Ontario Expanding Youth Training Programs To Promote The Skilled Trades

TORONTO — The Ontario Government is investing $43 million in expanded youth training programs to give young people exposure to more employment options. The programs will help increase awareness and encourage youth to acquire the skills that will start them down the path to lifelong success while supporting Ontario's economic recovery and future prosperity.

Today, Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, and Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, announced the investments and the appointment of three industry leaders to advise on attracting youth to the trades, in London at the Children's Museum.

"Ontario's demand for workers in the trades is on the rise, and we want to attract more young and talented people into the exciting and challenging world of trades," said Minister McNaughton. "Becoming an ironworker or a sprinkler fitter should be as obvious as becoming a firefighter or a lawyer. Our government is committed to ensuring that all young people across the province have the resources they need to acquire the skills and knowledge they need to get good jobs."

The government's investments to attract and train youth in the trades include:

In addition, Ontario is appointing three Youth Advisors to engage with youth, educators, business, parents and other key partners as well as the Minister of Labour Training and Skills Development on how to reduce stigma and make the trades a viable first choice for young people.

They will advise on increasing awareness of the skilled trades among elementary school students, starting in grade one, with a focus on grades seven and eight, and on making it easier for high school students to learn about the options in the trades and to begin an apprenticeship pathway while continuing to earn secondary school credits.

"There's a growing demand in the job market for skilled workers" said Minister Lecce. "We want to help fill this labour shortage and mismatch with young women and men who can take on these meaningful and well-paid jobs. That is why we are continuing to position Ontario as a STEM leader for the next generation of workers."

"Today's announcement reflects our government's priority to encourage youth to explore the tremendous opportunities in skilled trades," said Jane McKenna, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. "A career in the skilled trades is both rewarding and life changing."

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