Conestoga news

October 28, 2020 12:58 PM

Community partnership addresses shortage in skilled labour

A new program delivered in partnership through Conestoga, St. Leonard’s Community Services and Brant Skills Centre is helping address a shortage in skilled labour. Construct Your Career Brantford provides free training to prepare job seekers for a career in the construction sector.    

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Construct Your Career participants built work-station cubbies as part of technical training at Conestoga’s Brantford Airport site. The new program helps address a shortage in skilled labour by preparing job seekers for a career in the construction sector.

The program, launched in August, is funded in part by the provincial government through the SkillsAdvance Ontario (SAO) pilot project with additional support from the Government of Canada. SAO supports workforce development in identified key growth sectors by connecting employers with the employment and training services required to recruit and advance workers with the right skills.

“Construction is an important part of our local economy and we’re currently seeing a demand for quality skilled labour,” said Malcolm Whyte, director of employment services at St. Leonard’s Community Services. “The goal of this program is to support skilled labour entering the field by providing participants with the knowledge they need for entry-level roles, and in some cases, starting on a path towards further education or completing an apprenticeship.”

Participants complete eight weeks of training that includes strengthening essential skills in math and communications, as well as study and practice in carpentry, plumbing and electrical trades to receive a Construction Foundations certificate from Conestoga. Industry-recommended credentials such as Working at Heights and First Aid are also included, and participants are coached in resume building and interview skills. Tools and other essential equipment are provided free of charge to help further support participants as they start their careers. The program ends with an additional two weeks at a job placement.  

The first cohort welcomed 20 participants to the college’s Brantford Airport site, where they received technical training by building work-station cubbies complete with lighting and other components that showcased developed skills. As participants approach the last stage of the program, many have already secured job placements.     

“We are excited to deliver this program in partnership with Conestoga and Brant Skills Centre,” Whyte continued. “Connecting employers and job seekers with the right essential, technical and employability skills is an investment in our community.”

Construct Your Career Brantford is funded to support 60 job seekers by end of March 2021 -- the next cohort will begin mid-January. Interested candidates are encouraged to connect with St. Leonard’s Community Services for more information. Additionally, employers interested in hosting job placements or learning more about benefits and available incentives can also connect with the organization.

Conestoga is a provincial leader in the delivery of skills and apprenticeship training to serve industry needs and the growing community. Comprehensive programming includes a wide range of post-secondary programs that provide pathways to employment. Visit the School of Trades & Apprenticeship for more information.