Ontario announces $4.7M for youth skills training

Ontario announces $4.7M for youth skills training

Source: The Standard

The Ontario government will be spending more than $4.7 million to provide free skills job training for youth through two Niagara-based companies and a local union this year.

Niagara West Progressive Conservative MPP Sam Oosterhoff, who is also the associate minister of energy, announced June 10 at the Millwrights Local 1007 office on Eastchester Avenue, St. Catharines, that the union, and two Beamsville companies, Edge Factor and Civiconnect, will benefit from the skills training projects.

“All three Niagara recipients of the Skills Development Fund are effectively bringing job seekers and job creators together to help fill Ontario’s labour gap,” said Oosterhoff.

Millwrights Local 1007 received a little more than $650,300 to buy and outfit a new six-booth welding trailer. The equipment will help union officials train, test and certify 48 apprentices and journey-persons on various types of welding.

“The funding will be instrumental in enabling Millwrights Local 1007 to offer more accessible work-ready welding training to our membership,” said Dan Steel, business representative for Local 1007.

Meanwhile, Civiconnect Youth Skills Studio in Beamsville received $3 million to assist 350 youth aged 14 to 29 to develop technical and workplace preparedness skills in digital marketing, web development, digital system administration, cloud computing and information technology by working on projects submitted by businesses from the local community. The organization is in partnership with the Town of Lincoln.

Nour Page, president and CEO of Civiconnect, located on Beam Street, said more than 650 students already manage more than 350 projects for small and medium-sized enterprises after receiving financial support from the provincial government over the last three years.

And Edge Factor, located on Quarry Road, Beamsville, received just over $1 million for a project to highlight careers online for 1,920 youths in Niagara and across Ontario.

“It has been Edge Factor’s honour to share powerful stories of women, youth, people who are uniquely abled, Indigenous community members, diverse people groups and immigrants in successful apprenticeships and skilled trades,” said Jeremy Bout, founder and president of Edge Factor.

Launched in 2021, the Ontario Skills Development Fund has connected more than 500,000 individuals with the proper skills so they can be hired for jobs. It has supported more than 700 training projects across the province.

There are nearly 22,700 jobs going unfilled in Niagara, and nearly 219,000 jobs open across the province.


  • Previous Is the glass half empty or almost full? Economic outlook predicts less than 1% growth for Niagara
  • Next Governments Investing in Horticultural Research and Innovation