Toronto is in Desperate Need of Skilled Carpenters
With the booming condo construction, major transit projects like the Eglinton LRT, and mixed-use projects such as The Well, Mike Yorke, President of the Carpenters District Council of Toronto, says finding workers in the sector is essential. According to Yorke, close to 500 carpenters are predicted to retire every year over the next ten years.
To help combat the issue, pre-apprenticeship programs, like concrete formwork, have been established. Designed for workers new to the construction sector, the seven-week program is run through the College of Carpenters and Allied Trades. A total of 18 students graduated from the new program in November and had a job the following week. They were all hired by contractors who will mentor the new graduates as they start the four-year apprenticeship training.
Executive Director of the college, Cristina Selva, said, “It means being afforded an opportunity to start working toward your career.” One graduate, Warren Owl, said he never planned to work in the construction field. He has worked several different jobs, but now feels like he has found a career that works for him. After finishing the pre-apprenticeship program, he would like to work toward becoming a journeyman and then move home to the Sagamok First Nation and help his community.