A 2009 survey cited in a Statistics Canada report found that almost a quarter (24%) of Canadian employers reported difficulty finding the right talent to fill jobs, and the lack of skilled trades workers was the number one shortfall. This shortage of skilled trades workers in Canada is only projected to increase within the coming years, so increasingly young people are being encouraged to consider a career in trades. The Centre for Skills Development and Training (The Centre) offers a variety of skilled trades training, pre-apprentice­ship programs, and job search assistance to get people from throughout the Greater Toronto Area job-ready, fast.

Sheldon Walker of Burlington is cur­rently enrolled in The Centre for Skills Development and Training’s Home Renovation program, offered at its 860 Harrington Court location in Burlington. The 26-week program combines in-class instruction with hands-on training, taught by industry experts, in over 6,000 square feet of fully equipped shop space. Students also receive safety training, as well as small business management skills training and assistance to improve critical employability skills.

“In January 2012 I was a casualty of corporate downsizing, and after experi­encing difficulty landing a new job in my industry, I realized it was time to consider a new career. It was then that I discov­ered the Home Renovation program at The Centre,” said Walker. “The program is comprehensive and hands-on. Within six months, I will have the skills and training that would take at least two years to earn through a college program.”

Thanks to The Centre for Skills De­velopment and Training’s thorough and multifaceted training, Walker is one step closer to realizing his dream of owning his own home renovation business.

“If somebody were to ask me to build a 10×10 addition on their home, I would be able to do it right now and in accordance with the Ontario Building Code. I’m really looking forward to furthering my skills in industry and beginning my new career,” said Walker.

In addition to the Home Renovation training program Walker is currently enrolled in, The Centre for Skills De­velopment and Training also offers a number of other skilled trades training programs, including Construction Fram­ing Techniques, Women in Skilled Trades, Electrical Training, Industrial Millwright Mechanic/Machinist, and an Industrial Millwright & Electrical Pre-Apprenticeship Program for Youth.

All skilled trades students at The Centre receive hands-on training from expe­rienced industry professionals in fully equipped shop space, as well as job search assistance and coaching to help them successfully transition into their field. The Centre says it works with its students un­til they land jobs – for as long as it takes!

Former Burlington Chef Jason Gomes, graduated from The Centre’s Electrical Pre-Apprenticeship Program in 2011, and recognizes how the training he received has transformed his life for the better.

“The program not only taught me how to be a competent residential apprentice electrician, but also how to make myself marketable and where to look to begin my career.”

To learn more about skilled trades training programs offered at The Centre for Skills Development and Training or to apply online, visit www.thecentre.on.ca.

Established in 1988, The Centre for Skills Development and training has two locations in Burlington and Oakville, as well as one in Milton and Clarkson. In addition to skilled trades training, The Centre provides employment services, services for newcomers to Canada, and customized workplace training and con­sulting for companies. Skilled trades train­ing is only offered at the 860 Harrington Court location in Burlington.

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