The Ontario government is investing $7 million to deliver training and paid job placements in the automotive manufacturing sector for up to 800 people from underrepresented groups. The project, led by the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association (APMA), will help develop a new talent pipeline to reinvigorate a sector with an aging workforce and help historically marginalized groups to train for, access, and retain good jobs.
Details were provided today by Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, who was joined by Christine Hogarth, MPP for Etobicoke-Lakeshore, and Kinga Surma, MPP for Etobicoke-Centre.
“Our automotive sector has openings across the province for talented, trained and eager workers,” said Minister McNaughton. “This program will help ensure people who face multiple barriers get access to free training and get on track to promising careers in assembly line work, machine operation or quality assurance, to name a few. This will energize our economy, workforce and, just as importantly, create great, local jobs that make our communities stronger. We will once again make Ontario’s automotive sector one of the most competitive in the world.”
Starting this month, APMA is working with community agencies and employment service providers to place up to 100 trainees per month with hundreds of auto parts manufacturers across Ontario, most of which are small and medium-sized businesses, and APMA members. Trainees will participate in paid job placement sessions that last a minimum of three months. Participating employers will receive up to $8,000 in supports per trainee, of which a maximum of $3,000 can be used as a wage subsidy and $5,000 to cover costs related to training.
The job placements and training happen concurrently, starting between June 2021 and March 2022, with training tailored to each participant by APMA and their employer, and which can include on-the-job training, in-class or online learning. Training will cover manufacturing essentials, such as problem solving, document use, basic math, project management, as well as oral communication, critical thinking and inter-personal skills.
“Ours is an industry with an incredible future that is critically short of people to share in it,” said APMA president Flavio Volpe. “Partnerships like these allow us to build permanent pathways into new communities who would otherwise not have accessed this prosperity.”
Applications are being accepted through APMA’s partner community agencies, employment service providers and its 300-plus member organizations. Individuals who wish to apply may do so through APMA’s website.
This new program is part of Ontario’s $115 million Skills Development Fund, designed to support fresh ideas for training and skills development that will help our economy recover and prosper.
According to the Future of Canadian Automotive Labourforce, numerous automotive manufacturers have a workforce comprised largely of workers over age 45.
There were 2,280 job vacancies in Ontario’s transportation equipment manufacturing sector during the fourth quarter of 2020, an increase of 35 per cent since the fourth quarter of 2019.
Skills Development Fund projects are supported through labour market transfer agreements between the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.