Ontario offering free training and paid apprenticeships for electricians 

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Ontario is allocating more than $13 million for free training and paid electricians’ apprenticeships.

With over $2 billion in infrastructure projects on the horizon, the province says it faces a shortage of electricians and other skilled trades workers. This investment aims to encourage more Ontarians to take up the trades.

“When you have a job as an electrician, you have an in-demand job for life,” said Labour Minister Monte McNaughton. “I continue to hear from students and parents who don’t know how to enter this incredible field – which can pay over $50 an hour. That is why our government is investing over $1.5 billion in programs like this, which break down barriers and connect young people to life-changing careers in the skilled trades.”

This investment will be spread over nine projects across Ontario.

Two of the projects are being delivered by the Ontario Electrical Industry Training Trust Fund who are training nearly 300 people for jobs as construction and industrial electricians and cabling specialists. The training focuses on safety, best practices for installation, and other crucial skills for electricians. At the end of the program, participants will be offered employment as the first step toward securing well-paying, meaningful careers to build better lives for themselves and their families.

The government’s investment will also go toward financial incentives that encourage employers to hire more apprentices and promote the electrical trades to underrepresented groups. 

Data suggest the need to replace retiring workers is elevated in the skilled trades. In 2016, nearly 1 in 3 journeypersons were aged 55 years or older.

Between July 2021 and September 2021, there were 338,835 job vacancies (unfilled jobs) in Ontario. About 8% (25,495) of all vacancies in Ontario were in the construction sector.

Construction electricians earned an average hourly wage of $34.32 in Ontario in 2021, industrial electricians $36.12, electrical powerline and cable workers $38.90, and power systems electricians $47.21.

The funding is part of Ontario’s over $200 million Skills Development Fund, launched to support innovative training projects that upskill workers and connect them to lucrative careers in their communities.

Ontario’s Skills Development Fund is supported through labour market transfer agreements between the Government of Canada and Government of Ontario.

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