Ontario Expanding Youth Training Programs to Promote the Skilled Trades

Published on August 28, 2020

Ontario is facing a looming crisis: There will soon be more jobs in the trades than people to fill them. We need to attract more young people into the trades. That is our mission.


Young people and their parents need to see the trades as a viable first option. That’s why we’re acting today, by appointing three new youth advisors. These youth advisors will consider ways to make it easier to enter the trades. Becoming an ironworker or a sprinkler fitter should be as obvious as becoming a firefighter or a lawyer. They will also advise on ways to enhance the profile of the trades in the curriculum. We need to reach kids at a younger age.


At the same time, Ontario is investing $41 million to increase awareness of the trades and to help students and young people gain the skills they need to pursue good careers:

  • $5 million in Skills Ontario to increase awareness of the trades among grades 1-12 students (an additional $3.5 million on top of the $1.5 million announced for the 2019-20 school year)
  • $15 million, an increase of $2.3 million, in the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) to provide high school students with the opportunity to gain exposure to work in the skilled trades, and/or train as apprentices while completing their Ontario Secondary School Diploma
  • $21 million in Ontario’s Pre-Apprenticeship Training program, giving students and graduates exposure to a variety of good jobs in the skilled trades.


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