electrical apprentice conducts testing with a digital instrument

The Ontario government is investing more than $13 million to provide free training and paid electricians’ apprenticeships for more than 2,500 people across the province who are unemployed or looking to earn bigger paychecks. With over $2 billion in infrastructure projects on the horizon, Ontario faces a shortage of electricians and other skilled trades workers. This investment will help the province deliver critical hospitals, schools, and roads on time and on budget.

The investment is for nine projects across Ontario. Two of the projects are being delivered by the Ontario Electrical Industry Training Trust Fund who are training nearly 300 people for jobs as construction and industrial electricians and cabling specialists. The training focuses on safety, best practices for installation, and other skills crucial skills for electricians. At the end of the program, participants will be offered employment as the first step toward securing well-paying, meaningful careers to build better lives for themselves and their families.

The government’s investment will also go toward financial incentives that encourage employers to hire more apprentices and promote the electrical trades to underrepresented groups. The funding is part of Ontario’s over $200 million Skills Development Fund, launched to support innovative training projects that upskill workers and connect them to lucrative careers in their communities.

Quick Facts

  • Data suggest the need to replace retiring workers is elevated in the skilled trades. In 2016, nearly 1 in 3 journeypersons were aged 55 years or older.
  • Between July 2021 and September 2021, there were 338,835 job vacancies (unfilled jobs) in Ontario. About 8% (25,495) of all vacancies in Ontario were in the construction sector.
  • Construction electricians earned an average hourly wage of $34.32 in Ontario in 2021, industrial electricians $36.12, electrical powerline and cable workers $38.90, and power systems electricians $47.21.
  • Ontario’s Skills Development Fund is supported through labour market transfer agreements between the Government of Canada and Government of Ontario.