Ontario’s Government is helping people across Northwestern Ontario prepare for careers in the forestry sector by partnering with employers and investing in public funded access to skills training. Ontario recently announced over $2.4 million in provincial funding for two innovative skills training projects.
One of them is the Skills Advance Ontario project, Nishnawbe Forestry Operation and Sawmill Training Program, led by Oshki-Pimache-O-Win: the Wenjack Education Institute.
This project will help 56 Indigenous workers and unemployed job seekers prepare for careers in forestry-related professions. The training include on-the-job exposure to silviculture, sawmill, and harvesting operations training. Training will start this fall.
"The program is designed to bridge the gap between the classroom and job site, while positioning community members for local employment at sawmills and further education and training opportunities in the forestry industry,” said Gary Bruyere, Acting Executive Director, Oshki-Pimache-O-Win: The Wenjack Education Institute.
“This initiative will create a new generation of skilled professionals for a future of endless opportunities ... and will provide an overall improved quality of life for families and communities.”
The training projects also help employers by providing sector-focused employment services, including job matching and placement, and post-employment retention services.
Confederation College is also receiving funding to help 144 workers and people looking for jobs gain the skills and work experience needed by employers in Thunder Bay. The training will take place at Nakina, Kenora, Thunder Bay and White River. It will focus on skills and experience needed for mechanical harvesting equipment operator, wood processing basics, control systems and life skills training. The program also includes paid job placements with participating employers.
“The forestry sector generates over $16.6 billion in total revenue and supports approximately 155,000 direct and indirect jobs in roughly 260 communities across the province," said John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry.