PCA Welcomes New Investments to Advance Skilled Trades Careers

Whitby (November 24, 2021) –The Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA) welcomes today’s announcement from Monte McNaughton, the Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development that will boost funding for a range of skilled trades initiatives including support for employers who hire and train apprentices.

“The province truly is moving the ball forward by addressing the skilled trades shortage from many different directions,” said Karen Renkema, Vice President, Ontario at PCA. “Employers should be recognized for the central role they play in equipping apprentices with skills that are a must in today’s economy.”

While PCA appreciates additional help for employers to offset training costs, it is concerned that financial incentives tied to the hiring of specific apprentices will benefit few employers and could be unfair to some workers.

“Workers who pursue the skilled trades as a career choice later in life, should not be put at a disadvantage,” added Renkema. “We believe employers should receive the same level of encouragement to take on apprentices, no matter what their age. It shouldn’t be an either/or approach. While the province is taking steps to attract workers to the trades earlier in their careers, this will not happen overnight. Employers who strive to attract any type of skilled trades worker and apprentice should be recognized for their investments in training, regardless of their apprentice’s background or age.”

The Ontario government also announced today that it is investing in several initiatives to promote the skilled trades, including expansion of the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP), an increase in employer subsidies for pre-apprenticeship training, and increasing the number of ‘trade specific’ guidance counselors in high schools.

About the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA)

PCA is the voice of progressive unionized employers in Canada’s construction industry. PCA member companies are leaders in infrastructure construction across Canada, employing more than 25,000 skilled construction workers who are represented primarily by CLAC.

For further information, contact:

Danna O’Brien, Danna@obriencommunications.ca 416-500-0699

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