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Province investing in skilled trades in Durham

The provincial government is investing more than $1 million to help residents in Durham Region to train in the automotive, transportation and construction sectors. (Photo by Chris Jones)

By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express

The province is investing more than $1 million to help people in Durham Region train for jobs in the automotive, transportation, and construction industries.

Durham MPP Lindsey Park was at Ontario Tech University recently to announce the investment. She was joined by Whitby MPP Lorne Coe, Ajax MPP Rod Phillips, and Pickering-Uxbridge MPP Peter Bethlenfalvy.

The funding included a $757,143 investment in a collaboration between Ontario Tech, Loyalist College and Durham College. The investment will aid in student placement in the auto sector.

The three post-secondary institutions will form a steering committee to oversee the development of a network to bring together industry partners and students to help create placement opportunities.

The second investment is in the Ontario Truck Training Academy. With an investment of $399,780, the province will help the commercial driving training program to determine employer-specific requirements.

The funding will also help to implement and improve mentorship programs with employers, as well as identify gaps and improve school training.

The final investment is $121,847 in the development and implementation of Jobsite Readiness Microcredentials at Durham College.

The goal of this last program is to better prepare underrepresented individuals in Durham, such as unemployed youth, for success in entry-level jobs in construction.

Dr. Steven Murphy, president and vice-chancellor of Ontario Tech University, says he is excited to see the funding for Ontario Tech, Durham, and Loyalist in particular.

“The Career Ready Auto Fund directly connects to one of Ontario Tech’s founding principles to provide students with hands-on, experiential learning opportunities that ensure our graduates are workplace ready,” he says, adding it will help the students to make an immediate impact in their field.

Park says the government is investing in local placements and apprenticeships because they know there will be a high demand for workers in the skilled trades in Durham Region.

“This will help job-seekers gain the on-the-job experience that is critical to their success,” she says.