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A step in the right direction for the skilled trades.

Finance Minister Charles Sousa recently released the Ontario 2016 budget. The government had committed to invest 139 billion dollars into public infrastructure. This is great news new for Ontarians, but there is still more to be done to ensure that this money does not go to waste.

Finance Minister Charles Sousa recently released the Ontario 2016 budget. The government had committed to invest 139 billion dollars into public infrastructure. This is great news new for Ontarians, but there is still more to be done to ensure that this money does not go to waste. This commitment will create thousands of jobs for hard working Ontarians. The problem is, where are we going to find these workers? It is fantastic that the government has decided to invest this type of money into public infrastructure, but one major problem still remains, the lack of skilled workers in labour market to ensure the completion of these programs. The Government of Ontario needs to ensure that there is enough skill in the labour force to build this infrastructure. The problem is, at this point in time we are not even close to having enough skilled workers to complete these projects. The solution seems to be simple, but yet we have been facing the same issues for years and nothing seems to be changing. We need to create more incentives and encourage our youths to look for a career in the skilled trades. You can allocate all the funding you want to these projects, the fact is, nothing will get built without the skilled workers required to complete these ambitious projects.

 

``The Ontario government is moving in the right direction to ensure post-secondary education becomes more accessible for Ontarians with a lower income. However, the approach put forward in the budget does nothing to encourage Ontario students to pursue an education and career in the trades. This is concerning for a number of reasons. Primarily, the skills gap will slow the construction process in all sectors which require skilled tradespeople. Secondly, as the demand for skilled tradespeople continues to rise while the supply of skilled tradespeople drops, this will cause the cost of the skilled labour required to build to rise. A higher construction cost will then be passed on to the taxpayer, or in the private sector, the average home buyer. This will only get worse if the province does not think about strategic investment in education and training`` (Masonry Worx).

 Strategic investment in education and training seems to be the next logical step in this process. If the Ontario government is willing to invest all this money into these infrastructure projects to make a better Ontario, shouldn’t they also be willing to invest funds into the people that make up Ontario. Giving someone the opportunity to acquire a skillset that can keep them employed and working seems to be a no brainer. We know that there are jobs in the skilled trades, and there will continue to be jobs in the skilled trades. We MUST invest in educating and training future skilled workers before it is too late. If we continue to wait, we will be left with no other option then to hire abroad like in the past. In this tough economic time, wouldn`t it be logical to ensure that Canadians have sustainable jobs? It is a step in the right direction, but it is still not enough. We need to invest our educational funds where there is a demand. I am all for affordable education and people having access to funds. The problem is, we need to make sure people are pursuing careers where the demand is high (i.e. skilled trades) so that we break the cycle of amassing large students debts, and not being any closer to gainful and stable employment. 

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