Ontario Investing $834,000 in Free Pre-Apprenticeship Training in Peterborough

Funding will help train people for in-demand jobs in the skilled trades and address the labour shortage

Today Member of Provincial Parliament for Peterborough-Kawartha Dave Smith
and Brett Goodwin, Executive Vice President, Academic and Applied Research & Innovation at Sir
Sandford Fleming College announced an investment of $834,690 for two projects at Sir Sanford
Fleming College to boost pre-apprenticeship training and help more people in Peterborough-
Kawartha get trained for meaningful and well-paying careers in an in-demand industry. This funding
is part of the government’s record investment in nearly 100 free pre-apprenticeship programs around
the province to promote careers in the skilled trades to young people and help tackle the province’s
historic labour shortage.

“Ontario’s skilled trades are vital to the growth of the economy and our government’s Plan to Build,
offering careers that lead to secure jobs and a good quality of life,” said Dave Smith MPP for
Peterborough-Kawartha. “We made a promise to build more homes and we need feet on the ground
to make that happen. Having these incentives for Carpenters and Plumbers to develop the skills
needed to fulfill that commitment.” Dave Smith added.

Led by Sir Sanford Fleming College this project will provide over 36 people who are interested in
working in the trades gain the skills and experience they need to get a job as a Carpentry or Plumbing
apprentice with a local employer, so they can earn bigger paycheques for themselves and their

“Ontario is combatting the largest labour shortage in a generation, and each one of these jobs unfilled
is a paycheque waiting to be collected,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration,
Training and Skills Development. “When you have a career in the skilled trades, you have a career
for life. Our government will continue to invest in innovative training opportunities that give young
people the tools they need to build better lives for themselves and stronger communities for us all.”

To help increase participation in the skilled trades, the government has recently made changes
including making it easier for high school students to explore these careers, requiring women’s-only
washrooms on constructions sites, announcing a $224 million investment in building and upgrading
training centers.

“These pre-apprenticeship programs, which are available at no cost, will attract prospective students
to Fleming College who otherwise might not have considered a career in Skilled Trades,” said Fleming
College President Maureen Adamson. “This access to education will begin to address the gaps in our
labour force and help build strong communities. We thank the Ontario government for their continued
dedication to education and for creating opportunities for students.” President Adamson added.

This funding announced is part of the government’s nearly $1.5 billion-dollar investment in the Skilled
Trades Strategy, from 2021-22 to 2023-24. These initiatives build on the government’s ongoing efforts
to attract, support, and protect workers, making Ontario the best place in the world to work, live and
raise a family.

Quick Facts

  • In Q1 2023, there were over 300,000 unfilled jobs in Ontario, many of which are in the skilled trades.
  • There are over 140 skilled trades in Ontario.
  • By 2026, one in five job openings in Ontario are projected to be in the skilled trades.
  • Ontario’s construction industry will need to hire almost 100,000 additional workers due to the retirements and job growth by 2026.