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Ontario Helping More Young People Start Careers in the Skilled Trades

Province investing in pre-apprenticeship programs and hundreds of innovative training projects across Ontario

March 16, 2022

Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development

LONDON — The Ontario government is working for workers by expanding its investment in pre-apprenticeship training to a record $28 million, providing more young people with the training they need to launch rewarding careers in the skilled trades. Between July and September 2021, there were more than 330,000 unfilled jobs in Ontario, many of which are in the skilled trades. Pre-apprenticeship training programs are free for participants, combine classroom training with on-the-job learning, and play a crucial role in reducing Ontario’s skilled labour shortage.

“Ontario continues to face a generational labour shortage. To build a stronger Ontario and grow our economy we need all hands on deck. Every day, there are hundreds of thousands of paychecks waiting to be collected,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “That is why our government is making historic investments in innovative programs that upskill workers and connect them to the careers of their dreams, without having to move to a big city.”

Over the coming weeks, Ontario will also be finalizing the second round of projects under the Skills Development Fund – a more than $200 million initiative that supports innovative programs that connect job seekers with the skills and training they need to find well-paying careers close to home. The first funding round of the Skills Development Fund last year supported almost 150 projects, including many focused on the skilled trades, and helped 280,000 people around the province take the next step in their careers.

"It is essential that we create greater awareness of the skilled trades as a valuable career path for our youth. Programs that support early consideration and opportunities to explore the trades will ensure that we have the workforce of the future that we need,” said Melissa Young, CEO and Registrar of Skilled Trades Ontario.

These initiatives build on the government’s ongoing efforts to attract, support, and protect workers, making Ontario the top place in the world to work, live and raise a family. They follow legislation Minister McNaughton recently introduced that includes foundational rights for digital platform workers, requirements for employers to disclose their electronic monitoring of employees and for businesses in high-risk settings to have Naloxone kits on-hand, and several red tape reductions to encourage out-of-province workers to help fill the generational labour shortage.

Quick Facts

  • To find out about pre-apprenticeship programs in your area, contact Employment Ontario by phone, e-mail or live chat.
  • Today’s funding increases the government’s annual investment in pre-apprenticeship programs by $5 million.
  • Ontario has also started negotiations with over 52 training organizations to expand 98 pre-apprenticeship projects for current and future tradespeople.
  • There were 1,790 people enrolled in pre-apprenticeship programs from April 2021 to March 2022 across Ontario.
  • Data suggest that the need to replace retiring workers is elevated in the skilled trades. In 2016, nearly one in three journeypersons in Ontario were aged 55 years or older.


"This government’s ongoing support of the skilled trades has been and continues to be a vital investment in Ontario’s future. We are all partners in building a better future. Pre-apprenticeship programs provide an entry into the skilled trades for people with little to no construction background. These training programs, which include paid work placements, can result in well-paying jobs that are in high demand in the masonry industry."

- David Stubbs

Executive Director, Ontario Masonry Training Centre

Province Launches Building Ontario Businesses Initiative

Initiative will strengthen supply chain security and boost domestic production of critical goods

March 09, 2022

Ministry of Government and Consumer Services

TORONTO – The Ontario government is continuing to strengthen the province’s supply chain security and economic growth through the Building Ontario Businesses Initiative (BOBI). BOBI will reduce barriers and provide companies in Ontario with greater access to public procurement opportunities, helping them sell more goods and services, create jobs in their local communities and recover from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Further, the initiative will strengthen Ontario’s supply chain resiliency and better prepare the province for potential future emergencies.

Details were shared by Ross Romano, Minister of Government and Consumer Services, joined by Victor Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade and Nina Tangri, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction.

As part of BOBI, the government passed the Building Ontario Businesses Initiative Act, which mandates public sector entities to give Ontario businesses preference when conducting procurements for goods and services under a specified threshold amount. This legislative change will see the government targeting to spend at least $3 billion in contracts awarded to Ontario businesses annually by 2026, further creating immense economic opportunity for Ontarians.

“The Building Ontario Businesses Initiative will level the playing field for Ontario businesses vying to support our province’s procurement needs and will ensure they are able to compete with overseas businesses,” said Ross Romano, Minister of Government and Consumer Services. “By harnessing our immense buying power, BOBI will allow our government to build our businesses in every corner of our province and support new jobs for our workers. We are investing in our people and unlocking our true economic potential.”

These changes will apply to the province’s overall procurements, which amount to $29 billion in goods and services annually across all public sector organizations. This immense buying power will be leveraged to help Ontario businesses in the technology and manufacturing sectors grow, create good paying jobs for Ontario workers, and secure domestic supply for critical goods required in times of crisis.

Quick Facts

  • Supply Ontario, a new provincial agency established to address challenges in the public sector’s supply chain system, is integral to this plan. Supply Ontario will transform and move public procurement forward in line with the BOBI, further advancing modernization to benefit our economy, businesses, and Ontarians.
  • The Building Ontario Businesses Initiative Act is part of this year’s red tape reduction package, the Fewer Fees, Better Services Act, 2022.
  • The 2021 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review: Build Ontario is the government’s seventh financial update since the pandemic began, highlighting the government’s commitment to providing regular updates on Ontario’s finances, even during this uncertain economic period. It is part of the government’s plan for recovery driven by economic growth.
  • Businesses and organizations looking to apply to the extended Ontario Together Fund can now submit through Available Funding Opportunities from the Ontario Government.


"Local businesses are the engine of the Ontario economy and their strength is vital to our Province’s economic recovery. In this global economy, we are working to ensure those businesses can compete locally by increasing capacity and strengthening the supply chain to support Ontario businesses and the people and families that rely on them."

- Vic Fedeli

Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade

"One of our government’s top priorities is ensuring Ontario is open for business. That means creating and protecting jobs, supporting businesses, and increasing investment and trade, so Ontario’s economy can grow and thrive. The Building Ontario Businesses Initiative will help unleash the province’s full potential and fuel Ontario’s recovery and future prosperity."

- Nina Tangri

Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction

"Supporting Ontario businesses is a key part of our government’s efforts to protect the people and jobs of our province as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. By leveraging public sector spending, the Building Ontario Businesses Initiative will spur economic growth and level the playing field for job creators and businesses in every corner of Ontario."

- Prabmeet Singh Sarkaria

President of the Treasury Board

Additional Resources

  • Building Ontario Businesses Initiative
  • Ontario Bolstering Stockpile and Distributing Record Levels of Critical Supplies
  • Province Launches New Modern Ontario Business Registry
  • Ontario Launching New Agency to Centralize Government Procurement
  • Province Appoints Board of Directors of Supply Ontario
  • Supply Ontario Welcomes Inaugural CEO Frank P. Rochon
  • Province to Supply Additional Ontario-Made Masks

March 3, 2022

Ontario Chamber of Commerce selected to lead Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) Project

We are pleased to advise that the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced the launch of the Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) to help Canadian small and medium-sized businesses grow their online presence and upgrade or adopt their digital technologies.

This investment, which will provide $4 billion over four years, will support up to 160,000 small businesses and create jobs across the country, including thousands of jobs for young Canadians.  The OCC is one of 13 organizations across the country selected to deliver the program over the next three years.

More information can be found here:

The CDAP will improve the e-commerce capacity of small and medium-sized businesses and entrepreneurs.

This project will develop and implement a program model to accelerate SME digital adoption through the administration of 12,280 micro-grants of $2,400 over a three-year period. In addition, the project will also provide access to skills, training, and advisory services. Twenty-five percent of the successful applicants will be led by members of equity-seeking groups.

We will also provide up to 758 work opportunities for diverse youth across Ontario and provide training so that they can help SMEs adopt the new technology.  It is anticipated that work opportunities will range from 4 months to 6 months in duration. 

Ontario Increasing Seniors Community Grant Funding

Province building a stronger Ontario by doubling investment in seniors initiatives across Ontario

March 04, 2022

Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility

TORONTO — The Ontario government is doubling its Seniors Community Grant Program funding since 2018 by investing a record $6 million in 2022-23 for seniors-based projects that help Ontario’s seniors stay safe, healthy, active and connected to families and friends in their communities.

Applications are open now until April 28, 2022, at for community organizations, municipalities and Indigenous organizations to apply for funding for various programs and services across the province that empower seniors to continue being active participants in their community.

“This year we are investing more than ever before into the hugely successful Seniors Community Grant Program so that dozens of more initiatives can be supported,” said Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility. “I encourage community groups here in Mississauga and all across Ontario to apply for a Seniors Community Grant to help safely bring seniors together to learn new skills, socialize and keep fit.”

Funding ranges from $1,000 up to $25,000 for local projects and each year Seniors Community Grants support hundreds of diverse, accessible and innovative activities that provide something for everyone – from Tai Chi lessons, lawn bowling and other physical activities, to arts and music appreciation, to virtual speakers’ series, day trips, and so much more.

"I want to first congratulate the Kang Nai Xin Senior Association, the Sawitri Theatre Group, and the Church of St. Mary & St. Athanasius recipient, all of whom received funding from our government's Seniors Community Grant Funding," said Natalia Kusendova, MPP for Mississauga Centre. "We all recognise that seniors across Ontario have contributed so much over the course of their lives to make our province the place we know and love today. As the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Francophone Affairs, I look forward to continuing to work with Francophone community stakeholders to ensure that French-speaking seniors remain supported in communities across Ontario."

Throughout their lives, seniors have helped build and contribute to Ontario’s quality of life. Seniors Community Grants provide them with new ways to engage with their local communities to promote physical, mental and social well-being.

Quick Facts

  • The Seniors Community Grant Program provides funding ranging from $1,000 up to $25,000 for local projects.
  • Ontario’s seniors are the province’s fastest growing demographic, and by 2023, there will be 3 million Ontarians over the age of 65.
  • Since June 2018, the Seniors Community Grant Program has provided more than 950 grants to benefit older Ontarians.

Get support and incentives for EV charging stations

Electric vehicles are a key pathway to a net zero GTHA. This $2 million fund is providing GTHA municipalities, multi-family building owners, businesses, and other organizations with technical and financial support to install new EV charging stations on-street and in public and private lots. 


Learn More

Foundations in Agricultural Management

U of G launches online farm business program

Believed to be the first of its kind in Canada, the University of Guelph launches a FREE farm business management skills program ranging from farm business planning to maintaining mental health offered through this new self-paced program.

Program launched in January - Register now for this online certificate course: Foundations in Agricultural Management  


Get In Touch!

King Chamber of Commerce

P.O. Box 381, Schomberg, ON L0G 1T0 905-717-7199

Additional Resources


Ontario Chamber of Commerce

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