Over the past couple of years, jobs in skilled trades have been quite in demand. And if you’re looking to gain training and hands-on experience with tools, Support Ontario Youth has you covered. Thanks to the organization’s Tools in the Trades program.

The ingenious program runs day-long boot camps to help apprentices kick start in the trade of their choice. Participants are invited to attend local camps where they receive a trade-appropriate toolkit and holistic training. This includes skills development, networking opportunities and confidence-building.

In addition, the participants are also counselled on key skills required to market themselves. Think resumé writing, interview skills, and financial advice that would help participants succeed in their trade. So, basically, it’s the whole package.

Unsurprisingly then, the program is said to be one of the most successful of its kind in the last five decades.

Talking about the program, Craig Brockwell, director of external affairs for Support Ontario Youth, said, “In a little over a year, the program has gone from starting with only a director to now employing more than 30 employees providing several roles necessary to pull off 80 boot camps during the 2022-23 fiscal year,”

tools in the trades program ontario
via Tools in the Trades

“Our goal last year was to sign 140 new apprenticeship registrations and we achieved the signing of 621 registrations at the end of our project year,” he further added.

The registrations, so far, have seen quite an interesting mix. There are freshly graduated high schoolers considering a career in trades. There are 40-somethings looking for a career change. And there are participants with different experience levels.

The camps have seen a higher than normal participation from under-represented groups including young women, newcomers, persons of colour, disabled and Indigenous youth. And is only expected to get bigger and better hereon.

tools in the trades program ontario
via Tools in the Trades

“Ultimately, we would like the program to provide boot camps in more registered trades and offer more programming such as training modules for those we sign into an RTA,” quipped Brockwell.

They are currently accepting applications for over 25 construction boot camps from July to October alone. If you’re looking to apply, you can check out the full list of trades here.

Being partially government-funded and partially donor supported, all support helps towards providing hands-on training to residents across the province. So if you’re ready to make your contribution to the province’s glorious future, head here!