Today, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development announced that the province would be re-investing in the OHBA Job Ready Program. This is an already highly successful program that introduces young people, and those seeking a career shift, to entry level opportunities available in the trades and more broadly within the residential construction sector.
The Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) is excited to announce a continued provincial commitment to investing in workforce development and creating pathways for new entrants into the construction industry.
“Our government has a plan to build a historic number of homes and make sure homeownership remains in reach for more families,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “That is why we are investing in initiatives like the OHBA Job Ready program, which will ensure Ontario has the skilled workers to build the homes we need now, and for years to come.”
The OHBA Job Ready program is receiving $2.99 million in funding from the Ontario Skills Development Fund. This investment will build on the foundational success of the OHBA Job Ready pilot program and enable further action to develop job-ready, safety-trained, entry-level workers for Ontario’s homebuilding industry.
“Meeting the demand for housing in Ontario requires a diverse workforce that has the skills and experience to enable the province’s residential construction industry to build more homes,” says OHBA President Bob Schickedanz. “Building a construction workforce for the future requires new workers to gain the skills and hands-on experience that will make them an asset to construction industry employers.”
The OHBA Job Ready program matches supportive employers with job seekers, expanding entry-level skills training and on-the-job learning. The program provides entry-level workers with exposure to the residential construction and renovation industries, creating a pipeline of workers with basic safety and skills training, on-the-job learning, and employment support to build a fulfilling career in our industry.
The initial pilot program has drawn participation from over 250 job seekers – including over 40% from traditionally underrepresented groups in the construction industry such as women, youth, new Canadians, and Indigenous people. Approximately 100 Ontario residential construction employers have offered over 150 jobs for program participants, half of whom have found continued employment in the industry or will attend full-time education, often in the trades.
“With this investment building on in the success of the Job Ready pilot program, even more Ontarians will be connected to the on-the-job training and support to build a career in the residential construction industry.” says Monica Curtis, President & CEO, EnerQuality. “We’re meeting people where they are at, building on their transferable skills with training and mentorship, and securing great starter roles within industry. “Typical entry-level roles can include general construction labourer, renovation labourer, painter assistant, framers, carpenter helper, restoration technician, landscape installation trainee, cabinet maker assistant, site clerk, electrician helper, handyman, and flooring installer assistant.
In addition to general labour or pre-trade roles, the program will offer entry-level positions that can employ a broader range of job seekers with transferrable skills. This could include indoor jobs with builders in warranty work, décor centres, sales, contract management, homeowner liaison work, or other roles that provide exposure to the construction industry.
Employees will include new high school graduates and mid-career pivots. Participating employers include large production builders, smaller custom builders and the associated professional services and skilled trade contractors.
This project is funded by Ontario’s Skills Development Fund, a more than $200 million initiative that supports innovative programs that connect job seekers with the skills and training they need to find well-paying careers close to home.
For more information, check out the program information at OHBA Job Ready.