Ontario Investing $2.3 million in Free Pre-apprenticeship Training in Windsor

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

NEWS                                              26 May, 2023

Windsor — The Ontario government is working for workers by investing over $2.3 million to boost pre-apprenticeship training and help more people in Windsor get trained for meaningful and well-paying careers 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. 

Led by LiUNA Local 625, UHC – Hub of Opportunities, Women’s Enterprise Skills Training of Windsor and St Clair College, this project will help people who are interested in working in the trades gain the skills and experience they need to get a job as an apprentice with a local employer, so they can earn bigger paycheques for themselves and their families.

“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 Andrew Dowie, MPP for Windsor-Tecumseh. “This training has offered an innovative path to fill employment vacancies and opportunities.  Our local partners, LiUNA, UHC, W.E.S.T and St Clair College, are key to delivering these opportunities to Windsor, Tecumseh and Essex County”.

“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.

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.


“Ontario’s investment in Free Apprenticeship Training is essential funding for LiUNA! 625’s Pre- Apprenticeship program as we now attract a growing number of young applicants pursuing skilled construction trades for their first career choice. Currently, our training facility expansion will include leading edge equipment like the Vortex Training Simulator for heavy equipment operation to further diversify and equip the knowledge and skills of our students. Our Pre-Apprentice uptake has also increased. The first of two Pre-Apprentice cohorts for 2023 – 18 graduates, completed their 10 week in-school training this month and were placed in good paying jobs for 12 weeks of field training with contractors around the region.”

Carmelo Calcara

Training Director

LiUNA! 625

“This funding allows the UHC- Hub of Opportunities to offer a much-needed Pre-Apprenticeship Program for Cooks.   Participants receive in-class instruction and hands on training in our state-of-the-art community kitchen.  They gain industry specific certifications and secure a work placement in this sector.   This gives participants the opportunity to obtain a career in the culinary field which addresses labour shortages in Windsor and Essex County.”

June Muir

Chief Executive Officer

UHC – Hub of Opportunities

“The pre-apprenticeship training in construction and craft trades for women has offered important training leading to the Red Seal designation for many women in the community and trained employees meeting industry needs in our community.”

Rose Anguiano Hurst

Executive Director

Women’s Enterprise Skills Training of Windsor

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



Paul Synnott

Executive Assistant Andrew Dowie, MPP


Ph: 519-251-5199 Cell: 226-724-6978

Email: paul.synnott@pc.ola.org