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Ontario Helping People Start Careers in Home Building

The Ontario government is investing almost $3 million to give 166 jobseekers free training and work experience in residential construction across the province. The Job-Ready Program, led by the Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA), will connect trainees with rewarding and well-paying careers in carpentry, drywall installation, cement working, framing, and heavy equipment operation. This announcement follows the more than $1.5 billion our government has committed over the next four years to get more people into the skilled trades and help solve the housing crisis.


“The residential construction industry and its workers build a critical part of our communities – the homes that families across Ontario can call their own,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “As more of these workers retire, we need talented people to fill their boots. Our government is giving people a hand up to well-paying, meaningful careers so they can build better lives for themselves and more homes for us all.”


Program participants will learn about general home building techniques, how to work with power tools and other products in construction, and health and safety on the job. Training will last up to eight months and will be delivered in the classroom and on construction job sites from experienced tradespeople. Virtual training is also available. The project also supports employers currently looking for new talent by helping them with training and providing incentives to hire program graduates.


"Today’s announcement is great news for the people of Barrie and Innisfil” said Andrea Khanjin, MPP for Barrie-Innisfil. “Our government’s investment in residential construction training will ensure that we have the tradesmen and women we need to meet the increasing demand for housing in our region. Along with more housing, this also means increased employment - and this program will provide the experience needed to be hired in the construction industry, creating opportunity for young people, career-changers, newcomers, underrepresented groups and job seekers.”


“The Job-Ready Program will be critical to eager job seekers in Ontario’s dynamic home construction sector”, said Sandy Tuckey – Executive Officer of the Simcoe County Home Builders’ Association. “By helping to unlock new opportunities in the residential construction industry, their support is vital to helping address workforce gaps in Simcoe County and across Ontario.”


“While our government’s housing policies are working to address the province’s housing crisis, home prices are still far out of reach for so many Ontarians and their families,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “As Ontario enters a period of economic recovery, our government is working hard to get shovels into the ground to create jobs and build the supply of housing our province needs, to make housing more affordable for all hardworking Ontarians.”


The province is projected to face a shortfall of more than 100,000 construction workers over the next several years, many of which are for positions in residential home building. The OHBA is working with home builder associations and community partners across Ontario to identify regions and employers most in need of skilled workers in residential construction to take part in the program. Participating employers can hire job-ready talent at the end of the program and will be reimbursed up to 30 per cent of the employee’s pay to a maximum of $3,000.


“The Job-Ready Program is an important support to help bring eager entry-level employees into Ontario’s home construction sector,” said OHBA President Bob Schickedanz. “With 166 participants in the program and over 40 per cent of those from underrepresented groups, the Job-Ready Program through the provincial Skills Development Fund is helping unlock new opportunities for in-demand and rewarding careers in communities across Ontario.”


This funding is part of the government’s Skills Development Fund to address challenges to hiring, training, and retraining workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. This builds on the government’s ongoing efforts to attract, support, and protect workers, making Ontario the top place in the world to work, live and raise a family.



Quick Facts

  • Jobseekers interested in more information on the program or wish to apply can contact Sajida Jiwani, Chief Operating Officer, Ontario Home Builders’ Association at sjiwani@ohba.ca and 647-887-1279. Training is available to anyone residing in Ontario.

  • The construction industry is an important part of the Ontario economy. In 2020, it employed about 500,000 people or 7.3 per cent of Ontario’s workforce. • In the second quarter of 2021, there were 20,895 vacancies in the construction sector in Ontario.

  • The Ontario Home Builders Association estimates that the residential construction industry contributes more than $66.6 billion dollars to Ontario’s economy.

  • To further encourage young people to pursue a career in the skilled trades, Ontario is investing an additional $90.3 million over three years starting in 2021–22 as part of its Skilled Trades Strategy.

  • Ontario’s Skills Development Fund is supported through labour market transfer agreements between the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.


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