Georgian College pre-apprenticeship program receives funding

Ontario’s Government for the People is supporting students in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound so that they can prepare for rewarding, well-paying careers in the skilled trades, and employers can get the skilled workforce they need to make Ontario open for business and open for jobs.

Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker is pleased to announce that Georgian College in Owen Sound has received $253,136 in funding for a pre-apprenticeship Electrician: Construction and Maintenance program.

“This is great news for our area, Georgian College and students of all ages, who would like to pursue a career in the skilled trades,” said Walker. “About one in five new jobs in Ontario over the next five years is expected to be in trades-related occupations.”

This year, the province will provide funding for local colleges and community organizations throughout Ontario to deliver pre-apprenticeship training programs. These programs help people gain experience and knowledge in trades and foundational job skills to secure fulfilling and vibrant jobs.

(L-R) Scott Clark of Bruce Power, Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker, Lisa Taylor of Georgian College, student Ashleigh Hoszowski, Georgian College V-P Academic Kevin Weaver,Lindsay Abbott of Canadian Union of Skilled Workers (CUSW), Don Mayer of CUSW & Pete Baird of CUSW

“Our government is taking action to address the skills shortage in Ontario,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “This investment means that more people will get trained in the professions we need for today and tomorrow.”

Pre-apprenticeship programs are free for participants and always includes a work placement. The programs also promote careers in the trades for all Ontarians, including newcomers, youth, women and Indigenous people.

“This program gave me the fundamentals to confidently start my career on day one,” said Georgian College student Ashleigh Hoszowski.

The government recently passed the Modernizing the Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2019 as part of the Protecting What Matters Most, 2019 Budget Act to help transform the skilled trades and apprenticeship system, reduce red tape, and make Ontario open for business and open for jobs.

“Initiatives such as this Pre-Apprenticeship program are vital to both developing a local skilled labour pool to meet industry needs and to providing individuals who want to develop their skills and enter new careers with a local pathway to do so,” said Georgian College Owen Sound Campus Executive Director Lisa Taylor. “Georgian College is proud to be a key partner in helping our local employers grow, and in helping our learners achieve career goals with the capacity to transform their lives.”

For 2019-20, Ontario expanded its investment in pre-apprenticeship training to $20.8 million – an increase of $2.5 million from the previous year.  This expanded investment will fund 91 projects across the province and help more than 1,800 people across the province prepare for jobs in the skilled trades.

Pre-apprenticeship training programs last up to one year and often combine level one apprenticeship classroom training in the program’s principal trade along with an 8-12 week work placement.

Pre-apprenticeship training is free and includes the cost of textbooks, safety equipment and tools.

Retirements in the skilled trades are a main driver of the need for more skilled workers. In 2016, 31 per cent of skilled trades journey persons were aged 55 years and over, compared to 22 per cent of all workers in Ontario.

To find out about other local programs, contact Employment Ontario by phone, email or live chat or job seekers can visit to get training, build their skills and access career information.