Be sure to visit the Newsletter section of MPP Brian Saunderson's website - Click here to read them!

Ontario Investing $259,974 in Free Pre-apprenticeship Training in Alliston

Funding will help train 15 people for in-demand jobs in the skilled trades and address the labour shortage

ALLISTON — The Ontario government is working for workers by investing $259,974 to boost pre apprenticeship training and help more people in Simcoe-Grey get trained for meaningful and well-paying careers in an in-demand industry. This funding is part of the government’s record investment in nearly 100 free pre-apprenticeship programs around the province to promote careers in the skilled trades to young people and help tackle the province’s historic labour shortage.   

“Ontario’s skilled trades are vital to the growth of the economy and our government’s Plan to Build, offering careers that lead to secure jobs and a good quality of life,” said Brian Saunderson, MPP for Simcoe-Grey.  “I would like to extend my thanks to Mike MacEachern, Executive Director at Focus Community Development, and his team of dedicated professionals, who work hard to provide quality service to the individuals they assist.” 

Led by FOCUS Community Development Corporation, this project will provide 15 people who are interested in working in the trades gain the skills and experience they need to get a job in the culinary industry and apprentice with a local employer, so they can earn bigger paycheques for themselves and their families.  

“Ontario is combatting the largest labour shortage in a generation, and each one of these jobs unfilled is a paycheque waiting to be collected,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “When you have a career in the skilled trades, you have a career for life. Our government will continue to invest in innovative training opportunities that give young people the tools they need to build better lives for themselves and stronger communities for us all.”   

To help increase participation in the skilled trades, the government has recently made changes including making it easier for high school students to explore these careers, requiring women’s-only washrooms on constructions sites, announcing a $224 million investment in building and upgrading training centres.  

“Our students receive all the bells and whistles needed to excel in the culinary industry. FOCUS’ participants are enticing to employers because they know what they’re doing, making onboarding a breeze! This program covers Level 1 training at Georgian College, food safety training certification, and transportation. We also provide them with uniforms, knife kits, and non-slip shoes, all at no cost to our participants! This Employment Ontario program is funded by the Government of Ontario.” Angela Adams 

This funding announced is part of the government’s nearly $1.5 billion-dollar investment in the Skilled Trades Strategy, from 2021-22 to 2023-24. These initiatives build on the government’s ongoing efforts to attract, support, and protect workers, making Ontario the best place in the world to work, live and raise a family.  

Quick Facts   

  • In Q1 2023, there were over 300,000 unfilled jobs in Ontario, many of which are in the skilled trades. 
  • There are over 140 skilled trades in Ontario.  
  • By 2026, one in five job openings in Ontario are projected to be in the skilled trades. 
  • Ontario’s construction industry will need to hire almost 100,000 additional workers due to retirements and job growth by 2026. 

Additional Resources 


Jamie Berman – Office of MPP Brian Saunderson