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Ontario investing in training projects to support Indigenous people

October 11, 2023  By The Government of Ontario

The Ontario government is investing $7.3 million in eight innovative training projects to support Indigenous people across Northern Ontario. The programs will prepare 1,700 workers for rewarding careers in their communities in critical sectors like mining, logging, construction, healthcare, and tourism, and help fill the region’s 17,000 vacant jobs.

“Across Northern Ontario, thousands of great jobs are waiting to be filled,” said David Piccini, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “Our government is proud to invest in ground-breaking training programs that will connect more Indigenous people to the training they need to find life-changing jobs and build stronger communities for everyone.”

One of the projects is led by the Ironworkers Local 759 in Thunder Bay. It will help 100 workers and jobseekers in the region upgrade their skills to find rewarding careers in Northern Ontario’s booming construction industry. The one-year program will be free to participants and help tackle the critical shortage of ironworkers and welders.

“By supporting innovative skills training projects across Northern Ontario, we are opening the door for Indigenous workers and job seekers to embark on meaningful, lifelong careers within in-demand sectors across a number of industries,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Indigenous Affairs and Minister of Northern Development. “Our government continues to reduce barriers for workplace entry, creating an intuitive process that will yield beneficial opportunities for communities, business owners and workers in the North.”


The other seven projects are led by various organizations across multiple industries in Northern Ontario. To help prepare Indigenous jobseekers for in-demand careers in their communities, the programs will offer a variety of tailored supports, including mentorships, paid job placements and mental health resources, as well as transportation and accommodation.

“By honoring the past with time-tested techniques, we forge the future of ironwork as we proudly train our apprentices,” said BJ Sault, President of Ironworkers Local 759. “With the generous support of the provincial government, we’re not only fostering a skilled workforce but also creating opportunities that will leave a lasting impact, honoring the diverse traditions that have shaped the Ironworkers Local 759.”

These projects are funded through Ontario’s Skills Development Fund (SDF) Training Stream, which supports ground-breaking programs that connect jobseekers with the skills and training they need to find well-paying careers close to home. To date, the Ontario government has invested over $860 million in the Skills Development Fund Training Stream, helping half a million people take the next step in their careers.

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