PCA Supports Ontario Budget Boost for the Skilled Trades

The Ontario government’s 2020 Provincial Budget reinforces its commitment to supporting and growing the province’s skilled trades workforce and rebuilding the economy through historic infrastructure investments, according to the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA), whose member companies employ thousands of skilled construction workers across Ontario.

“We are delighted that funding increases make it possible for more of our member companies to take on and train skilled workers and apprentices, especially now during Ontario’s economic recovery,” said Stephen Hamilton, Director, Public Affairs, Ontario, for the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA). “Today’s budget investments keep the focus where it should be: providing more opportunities for people to get trained and ready for careers in the skilled trades while recognizing and supporting the needs of ALL construction employers, specifically those that are progressively unionized.”

Ontario Budget 2020 includes a record $187 billion in spending and provides historic levels of infrastructure investments over the next several years. The budget is aimed at economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Highlights include the following:

Investing $21 million this year in a new Achievement Incentive Grant (for employers) to encourage small- to-medium-sized employers to train apprentices towards program completion and trade certification;

  • Supporting business participation by investing $20 million in 2020–21 for a new Group Sponsorship Grant to encourage small-to-medium-sized employers to come together to provide a full scope of training and on-the-job mentorship for apprentices;
  • Establishing a new Skills Development Fund, which will provide $30 million, over two years beginning in 2020–21, to support a blend of operational and capital enhancements for non-college training providers, businesses and associations that train apprentices;
  • Planned infrastructure investments over the next 10 years totalling $142.9 billion, including $13.6 billion in 2020–21.

“This budget recognizes the crucial role of skills training in ensuring workers have the right skills for jobs of the future,” added Hamilton. “And those jobs and opportunities exist right now in construction, where many workers have been working safely throughout the pandemic to build critical infrastructure and support Ontario’s economy.”