Province announces funding for Cambrian College skills programs

SUDBURY – The provincial government has announced funding for programs to increase skilled trades in the North, including a 45-week welder program for female Indigenous participants and a 26-week program.

Ross Romano, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities and MPP for Sault Ste. Marie was at Cambrian College on July 15 to discuss the province’s investment into pre-apprenticeship programs and applied research at the college. This will help people gain the trade and technology-specific knowledge, portable job skills and valuable work experience they need to secure good, well-paying jobs, a press release from the province states.

“Employers are looking for job-ready people to help fill vacancies in the skilled trades,” said Minister Romano. “These programs are designed to help people interested in apprenticeships to bridge the gap between the skills they have and the skills employers need.”

This year, the government expanded its investment into the Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program to $18.3 million, an increase of $5 million from the previous year. This funding will allow colleges and other community organizations to offer 84 programs across the province that will introduce more than 1,600 people to the trades. The program connects people with new opportunities to get publicly-funded training for careers in trades-related jobs and to further explore apprenticeship.

The two projects being funded at Cambrian College will help female Indigenous students take part in a 45-week welder program and participants from First Nations communities on Manitoulin Island will get hands-on experience in a 26-week program focusing on the skills and experience needed for general carpentry, electrician and refrigeration and air conditioning systems mechanic trades. Both of these projects include work placements that will help fill demand for skilled workers in Sudbury.

Cambrian College is also receiving more than $1.9 million through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation for Cambrian College’s applied research department.

 This investment will help the department complete its Tools and Tech for Innovation initiative, including modernizing and expanding its current space and purchasing specialized equipment to build a state-of-the-art facility. The new equipment and facility will also provide Cambrian students with valuable work experience and skills development through employment and co-op placements in the department, and will lead to five new full-time technician positions and 12 new part-time research positions.

“The funding announced today ensures our students involved in applied research get to work with the latest technologies and industry leading companies, giving them a leg up on the competition when they graduate and enter the job market. It also allows us to support the training of more women and Indigenous learners for rewarding, well-paying careers in the skilled trades. We’re not just building skills and capacity, we’re building people and their potential,” said Bill Best, president of Cambrian College.

“I’m pleased that (Cambrian College is) working with us to help more students get training and experience in the trades and technology, so that people can get the tools they need to access the well-paying, highly skilled jobs we need, now and in the future,” said Minister Romano.