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St. Lawrence College president disappointed by trades snub

The trades sector in Ontario could be getting a boost in its workforce over the next few years, as the province’s new mandatory technology credit in high school is aimed at getting more people into the trades.

There will also be $224 million invested in building and upgrading private trades training centres.

While there is good news for secondary schools and the trades as a whole, it appears Ontario’s community colleges aren’t so thrilled after being left out of the mix.

In a news release Wednesday morning, Vollebregt says Ontario colleges are “very disappointed to be shut out” of the provincial government’s announced funding for new skilled trades training centres.

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“This is hugely disappointing for our students, our colleges, and employers in our communities,” said Glenn Vollebregt, St. Lawrence College president and CEO. “Colleges provide many of the best opportunities to prepare students for careers in the skilled trades and we have momentum created from decades-long connections with industry and employers to train the talent they need.”

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Vollebregt adds that colleges play a dominant role in skills training and deliver over 80 per cent of the in-class portion of apprenticeship training.

He also says there are facilities already customized for training and skills development in the skilled trades.

The St. Lawrence College president admits some may require investment to be updated. He said colleges are currently located in more than 200 municipalities across the province, meaning infrastructure already exists for the training being sought.

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