OEL receives $618,000 in federal money to encourage employers to start hiring apprentices

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electrical apprentice

The federal government says it is providing more than $618,000 to the Ontario Electrical League (OEL) to encourage more employers to hire and train electrical apprentices.

The government says in a statement that the OEL, through the Consortia Pilot Project, Employment Engagement — will recruit and train employers who have never been involved in apprenticeship training.

A total of 20 employers and 20 apprentices will benefit from the investment and an employer consortium will be created. At the end of the project, lessons learned during the pilot will be expanded to other geographic areas in Ontario so that more employers can benefit from them, the statement said.

“We know that apprentices often have a hard time finding an employer to help them complete their training,” said Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour. “This investment will help more employers get involved in apprenticeship training so that more apprentices have a fair chance at success. As Canada’s economy continues to grow, the government is ensuring that Canadians are ready to fill the good-quality jobs that are being created.”

Apprentices alternate between periods of on-the-job training and technical training before they can become certified journeypersons. One of the long-standing challenges that prevents apprentices from completing their training is low employer engagement.

Employers also face a number of barriers to participating in apprenticeship, such as high administrative burden, difficulty connecting with apprentices and lack of work for the full scope of the trade.

“This is a ground-breaking initiative for both employers and apprentices in the electrical and mechanical trades,” OEL president Stephen Sell said in a statement. “The program streamlines every step of the hiring and training process, so employers can focus on providing quality on-the-job training for apprentices. The resources, like experienced industry mentors and a web-based hiring tool, are tailored specifically to busy employers’ needs so they can invest in the future of their companies and support a productive employer and apprentice experience.”

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