Skip to content

Indigenous training initiatives will prep trades workers

Thunder Bay-area projects land $1.5 million in provincial funding

The province is providing $1.5 million for three Thunder Bay projects that will train Indigenous people for skilled trades work.

According to the province, more than 100 Indigenous people will be served by the hands-on training and apprenticeship programs, which will prepare them for work in forestry and mining.

Of the funding, $876,286 will go to two programs run by the Anishinabek Employment and Training Services (AETS), in conjunction with the Carpenters Union Local 1669 and Confederation College.

Through this program, 72 participants will learn general carpentry, as well as welding and electrical basics through classroom training and a 12-week paid work placement.

Funding for these initiatives comes from the Ontario Pre-apprenticeship Program.

The remaining $644,000 will go to Kiikenomaga Kikenjigewen Employment and Training Services (KKETS), which will prepare 35 Indigenous people for jobs as construction craft workers, plumbers, and electricians.

The program is free for participants and available to anyone from the nine Matawa First Nations communities in the Thunder Bay region.

Funding for this initiative comes from the Skills Development Fund.

“Careers in the skilled trades offer the opportunity to work anywhere, and the good pay to buy a home and raise a family,” Labour Minister Monte McNaughton said in a Nov. 8 news release.

“Our government is proud to bring these purpose-driven careers within reach for more Indigenous communities in the North, and for more young people across our province to help tackle our historic labour shortage.”

The province estimates there are currently 21,000 trades-related vacancies in Northern Ontario, while one in five job openings are anticipated to be in the skilled trades by 2025.

Organizations seeking to deliver pre-apprenticeship training programs can apply here for provincial funding until Nov. 21.