Strathroy, Ontario — The skilled trades will be getting a new home base in southwest Ontario after the provincial government announced on Friday that a $5.7 million training centre is on the way for the community of Strathroy.
The centre will train students from various levels of education, with a primary focus on producing welders, metal fabricators and industrial mechanical millwrights. The facilities are expected to be open to apprentices, as well as secondary and elementary school students through the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program.
“Everything Premier Ford and our government is doing is about helping people find meaningful work close to home, so they can earn bigger paycheques, take care of their families and build stronger communities,” said Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development Monte McNaughton.
“This investment means young people in Strathroy will have access to cutting-edge technology and education, so they are ready for life-long careers in the skilled trades.”
Locally speaking, this announcement falls in line with goals set out by the Strathroy-Caradoc municipality that aim to keep skilled workers in the community.
“Municipal Council and local industry leaders identified the need for local technical training as part of Strathroy-Caradoc’s Strategic Plan 2020-2029. Young people are leaving Strathroy-Caradoc to pursue careers in the trades and they are not coming back,” said chief administrative officer for the municipality, Fred Tranquilli.
“This project will give young people the opportunity to pursue their apprenticeship training locally and be more likely to enter our local workforce. This is a critical pillar of our economic development strategy.”
According to the province’s press release, there were more than 2,000 online job postings for skilled trades-related positions in the London Census Metropolitan Area over the last six months compared to about 1,300 a year earlier.
A timeline for when the centre will be open has not yet been announced.
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