Province allocates $24 million for green construction skills training

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Deb Matthews speaking

The provincial government is allocating $24 million to support training for apprentices, skilled trades and other building sector professionals to develop green building skills.

Deb Matthews, minister of Advanced education and Skills Development, made the announcement at the LiUNA Local 1059 Regional Training Centre in London on Aug. 10.

“It’s important for our planet, for our kids, for our grandkids, that government really takes a leadership role in reducing our carbon footprint,” she said. “I think this summer is a really good example of how climate change is upon is, it’s not theoretical anymore.”

About 25 per cent of the province’s carbon emissions come from buildings. Matthews said the money will go towards training people how to build, renovate, and maintain buildings in an environmentally-conscious way.

“Imagine an old apartment building that was built in the 70s. The windows are drafty, probably not as well insulated as we would want today…we need to retrofit those buildings,” Matthews said. “This 24 (million) is not about that, it’s about training the people who know to do that work.”

The funds will be used for:

  • Sector-focused partnerships between unions, employers and others to support training programs in green building skills.
  • New and upgraded facilities and more capacity to support green building skills training.
  • New green training curriculum standards for apprentices.
  • Research into green labour force needs.

This initiative is funded by proceeds from Ontario’s carbon market, which are invested into programs that help households and businesses fight climate change while saving energy and money, including home energy retrofits, public transit, social housing retrofits, and electric vehicle incentives and infrastructure.

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