Carpenters and the construction industry play a crucial role in the Muskoka economy, and pre-apprenticeship programs help more local residents gain the skills they need to start an apprenticeship.
The college received approval from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) to offer a single intake of the Carpentry Pre-Apprenticeship program in 2017 and an intake of the General Carpenter, Plumbing and Electrical Pre-apprenticeship program in 2019. Both were funded by the Government of Ontario.
Training was provided at no cost to the approved applicants and both generated strong support from community leaders, the construction sector, and economic development partners in the Muskoka region.
“The Muskoka Builders’ Association (MBA) was a keen partner with Georgian in both applications and worked closely with the college in the design of previous pre-apprenticeship programs to ensure they meet the needs of both participants and employers,” says Muskoka Campus Associate Dean Mac Greaves. “This collaboration resulted in the development of comprehensive programs that provide participants with the skills and training required to enter the construction industry.”
Geared to unemployed and underemployed residents, the programs use the state-of-the-art carpentry shop, allowing participants to gain real-world experience on equipment they’ll use on the job.
Construction continues to be the greatest employment sector within Muskoka, comprising 22 per cent of all businesses, but the industry forecasts a national shortfall of one million skilled tradespeople by 2020. Local employers surveyed by the Simcoe Muskoka Workforce Development Board reported that many potential candidates lack relevant work experience and that two-thirds of candidates would benefit from essential and employability skills training.
Pre-apprenticeship programs like these are designed to provide that training.
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