Ontario Helping Veterans Find New CareersPublished on November 17, 2020
The Ontario government is investing $511,100 in the Pathways to Post-Military Employment program to support the return of 180 military veterans and reservists to civilian life. This program, administered by non-profit organization Helmets to Hardhats Canada, will help veterans draw upon their unique skills and experience and connect them with good jobs in the construction industry.
Details were provided today by Premier Doug Ford, Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, and Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, at Interior Finishing Systems Training Centre in Woodbridge.
"During Remembrance Week, we pause to salute the men and women in uniform who left their families to defend our country and protect the values we hold dear," said Premier Ford. "Today, many veterans are struggling as they leave active service and transition back into civilian life. Now is the time to help them train for new well-paying and rewarding second careers and give them a chance to contribute to Ontario's economic recovery."
Pathways to Post-Military Employment will offer job matching with employers in the construction sector, provide formal skills evaluations and support on-the-job training. This program will provide opportunities for veterans and reservists in several fields, including skilled trades, management, administration, planning, scheduling, logistics, security, engineering, and accounting.
"For the many sacrifices men and women in the military make to keep Canadians safe, we owe a debt of gratitude," said Minister McNaughton. "This program, which pairs former military personnel looking for work with jobs in a sector seeking new talent, is not only great news for our veterans, it's great news for their families and our recovering economy. Today's investment is another step in Ontario's plan to expand pathways for job seekers to enter these in-demand, hands-on careers."
The government's 2020 Budget, Ontario's Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover, includes the province's Skilled Trades Strategy and an additional investment of $180.5 million in employment services and training programs to connect workers in the industries most affected with industries facing a skills shortage. Ontario's Skilled Trades Strategy will make targeted investments to help break the stigma around the skilled trades, simplify the skilled trades and apprenticeship system, and encourage more employer participation in skills training. Investments in training and retraining workers impacted by COVID-19 will provide them with the necessary, valuable skills for in-demand jobs and enable them to contribute to the economic recovery of the province.
"Now is the time to invest in retraining our workers, so they are ready to contribute to the recovery of our province," said Minister Phillips. "Taken together, these initiatives will help job seekers, particularly those hardest hit by COVID-19, get the skills they need. This training supports workers and employers alike. It also addresses long-standing gaps in skills training which, unaddressed, would be a barrier to a strong economic recovery."
- Helmets to Hardhats is delivering the Pathways to Post-Military Employment program in partnership with Canada’s Building Trades Unions, the Council of Ontario Construction Associations, the Electrical Power Systems Construction Association, the Construction Labour Relations Association of Ontario, Veterans Emergency Transition Services Canada, the Royal Canadian Legion Ontario Command, and Good Shepherd Ministries.
- Since launching in 2012, Helmets to Hardhats has placed 1,040 veterans into highly skilled, well-paying construction industry opportunities as they start their second career. Forty per cent of those placements were in Ontario.
- This investment will also help provide homeless veterans with housing, aftercare support, food, clothing, medical care, addiction support, mental health services and crisis intervention in Toronto.
- There are an estimated 639,900 veterans in Canada ― 232,200 in Ontario ― many of which are impacted by challenges related to transitioning into civilian life.
- Every year, more than 5,000 soldiers leave the service and many face challenges with transitions to post-service civilian careers.
"Veterans returning to civilian life have skills that local employers need. This project will help them build upon the many existing talents they gained through time in the armed forces to unlock good jobs in the skilled trades."
- Joseph Maloney
Executive Director, Helmets to Hardhats
"Adjusting to new lifestyles and routines, reconnecting with loved ones, and finding stable employment are just some of the many challenges faced by our veterans and reservists upon their return home. This investment will ensure more of our Veterans are able to apply their skills to a rewarding career in the skilled trades, and ensure these brave women and men are able to access services to meet their unique needs, such as mental health, addictions and crisis intervention services."
- The Honourable Michael Tibollo
MPP for Vaughan—Woodbridge
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