Windsor, Ontario — A travelling skilled trades program has made its arrival in the heart of Canada’s auto industry and is offering students in the Windsor area a solid step forward into the world of trades.
The “Tomorrow’s Trades” program had been making its rounds across Ontario over the past year, including stops in Ottawa, Sudbury and London, before temporarily settling down in Windsor for a 12-week semester, due to start on June 6.
Courtney Axford, a student and former bartender who took part in the program in London last year, said the program succeeds in increasing the confidence of people who may be looking at a career in the trades.
“You get a little bit of a taste of everything—which is amazing,” said Axford, in an interview with the CBC.
“It kind of builds your confidence as well and it gets you a little bit of insight into what you might like to do the most.”
Axford said the program gave her hands-on experience with a number of trades, including welding, wall framing and drywall installation.
Part of the appeal of this relatively new program is not simply that it pays for itself—it essentially comes at a profit to students.
Not only is the Tomorrow’s Trades program completely free of charge, it even comes with a daily stipend of $45 to cover transportation and an introductory tool bag with hand tools and safety equipment, as well as a voucher for work gear such as boots.
Graduates of the program will receive an entry-level tool kit valued at $700 to $800, according to program manager John St. Pierre.
Applications for the Windsor spring semester are open until May 27. Only 24 applicants will be accepted to the program.