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Province appoints advisor to assess skilled trades need

Dave Cassidy is a Windsor-based former union leader
Dave Cassidy has been named a special advisor to Dave Piccini, the Ontario minister of labour, immigration, training and skills development.

The province has appointed a special advisor to help improve its skilled trades and apprenticeship system, with a focus on the automotive and manufacturing industries.

Windsor-based Dave Cassidy, a former Unifor union president, has been named as a Skilled Trades Special Advisor to David Piccini, the minister of labour, immigration, training and skills development.

According to a provincial news release, Cassidy will use his expertise to “assess the workforce needs in Ontario’s skilled trades, focusing on the manufacturing and automotive industries, including electric vehicles (EV).”

Informed by research and stakeholder feedback, Cassidy will prepare a final report with recommendations on how the province can improve the apprenticeship system.

An electrician by training, Cassidy was hired by Chrysler Canada in 1993, and has served in a number of roles with the company. He’s been involved with Unifor since its founding, and was elected as a trustee with the National Skilled Trades Council in 2005.

In its release, the province said it’s invested more than $1.5 billion in the skilled trades since 2020. It’s expected more than 500,000 skilled trades workers will be needed to build houses and other infrastructure over the next decade.

No timeline was provided for the release of Cassidy’s report.