students learning welding, overlaid with program highlights

The Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie (WPBGE) has been approved to coordinate a new skill development training program in welding under the Ontario Skills Development Fund (SDF) of the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development.

Over the next year, 150 area residents will receive free, short-term training (~2 weeks) to start careers as welders – an occupation in high demand. The target audience includes groups underrepresented in the trades or heavily impacted by COVID-19 economically: women, persons with disabilities, youth, and Indigenous and racialized people.

In partnership with the Canadian Welding Bureau (CWB) Foundation, they will provide a proven curriculum, which will then be delivered by 4 education partners who have welding training shops: Conestoga College, Fanshawe College, Six Nations Polytechnic, and Mohawk College’s mobile classroom.

The program is also open to area businesses who may have incumbent workers they wish to send to the training. 

For more information call 519-756-1116 ext. 223 or visit the Skills2Advance website.


  • Program Name: Skills2Advance Welding
  • Program Lead: The Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie
  • Program Duration: April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023, with classes to begin in June 2022 and run regularly afterwards
  • Training Duration: 2 weeks, with 30 hours of welding training and an additional 30 hours in CPR/first aid, forklift/reach truck and workplace soft skills (such as communication, conflict resolution, etc.)
  • Cost to Participants: None
  • Support for Participants: The CWB Foundation will provide a welding tool kit (including helmet, jacket, safety glasses, PPE). Wrap-around supports available to participants to help cover expenses.
  • Target Audience: Women and other groups underrepresented in the trades, including persons with disabilities, youth, Indigenous , and newcomers
  • Target Geography: Brantford, Six Nations, New Credit, and Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk counties, with participants also drawn from the Hamilton, Waterloo Region and Oxford area