With one in three journeypersons today being over 55 years of age, the next generation of workers must emerge to fill critical labour shortages.
By 2026, it’s estimated that one in five job openings in the province will be in skilled trades-related occupations. By the end of the decade, 100,000 construction workers will be needed to deliver Ontario’s ambitious plan to build critical infrastructure, housing and transit valued at $160 billion.
In response, the provincial government is investing $4.8 million to expand the dual credit program which supports eligible secondary students to take college courses or apprenticeship training that count towards their Ontario Secondary School Diploma and a postsecondary certificate, diploma, degree or a Certificate of Apprenticeship.
High school students taking dual credit courses benefit from a variety of college supports and services as well as the supervision and support of their dual credit teacher at their school. Additional Training Delivery Agents, including trade unions, will now be included in the delivery of Dual Credit Level 1 Apprenticeship training programs.
The aim is to help prepare more students for the jobs of tomorrow by better connecting learning in the classroom to good-paying jobs. The expansion of the dual credit program will create opportunities for an additional 2,200 students to earn college credits and take apprenticeship training while still in high school and help to build interest in skilled trades as a rewarding career.
The program is also being expanded to attract 420 students over two years into Early Childhood Education career pathways, which is critical to ensuring qualified workers enter the sector as demand rises following the implementation of Ontario’s plan to improve affordability and accessibility.
For the 2023-24 school year the dual credit program expansion will include:
- An additional 400 students in apprenticeship in-class training
- An additional 400 students in technological education college courses
- An additional 180 students in Early Childhood Education college courses
The expansion of the dual credit program will ensure that students have exposure and access to learning opportunities to consider skilled trades as a future career.
Image by Harry Strauss from Pixabay