Picture: Dion Neil (Principal of JNSS), Rashmi Swarup (Director of Education PDSB), Brad Loiselle (CEO Skills Council of Canada)
A Landmark Partnership Between Skills Council of Canada and Peel District School Board Accelerates Advanced Trade Education
In an unparalleled initiative aimed at mitigating the trade skills shortage in Ontario, Skills Council of Canada and Peel District School Board (PDSB) have formed a transformative partnership. This innovative collaboration aims to leverage the state-of-the-art facilities of the Judith Nyman Secondary School (JNSS) to provide comprehensive afterschool trade skills training, thus enhancing Ontario's competitive edge.
In a transformative approach to trade skills education, PDSB, JNSS and Skills Council of Canada are offering an unrivaled asset to Ontario's industries, unions, employers, and the broader province. JNSS's expansive facilities, which uniquely comprises of 17 specialized trade facilities, are poised to become an indispensable resource in addressing the province's trade skills shortage and enhancing its economic competitiveness.
“We need more parents and young people to know when you have a career in the skilled trades, you have a career for life,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “I applaud Skills Council of Canada for their innovative work providing students with an opportunity to explore these valuable careers so they can learn lifelong skills that prepare them for a rewarding future in the industry.”
Dion Neil, Principal of Judith Nyman Secondary School, emphasized the value that this partnership brings to the school, stating,
"Our collaboration with Skills Council of Canada significantly enhances the visibility of our school, deepens our connections with industry leaders, and aligns us closer with government partners. Our untapped resources will now become part of a greater ecosystem of support for the trades in Ontario. We are deeply grateful to both PDSB and Skills Council of Canada for making this opportunity come to fruition."
For industry stakeholders, the diverse assortment of trade facilities at JNSS, coupled with Skills Council of Canada's collaboration, presents a pivotal shift in workforce development. With Skills Council of Canada as a strategic ally, industries can access their vast platform for skills training that not only includes comprehensive facilities for all core trades, but also extends to thousands of skills courses, evaluations, and explorational learning resources. This multifaceted approach ensures a consistent influx of adept professionals, equipped to tackle the dynamic demands of today's market.
Leveraging the extensive trade facilities at JNSS and Skills Council of Canada's proficiency in skills development, industries are afforded the flexibility to customise training programs in line with their unique requirements. This strategic partnership, therefore, provides a powerful tool in addressing the skills shortage, empowering industries to cultivate a workforce that is both resilient and adaptive to evolving market needs.
Jaspal Gill, Associate Director, Operations and Equity of Access at PDSB, emphasized the value of the partnership, saying,
"This collaboration signifies a critical turning point, laying the foundation for a premier destination for trades development in Ontario. Our unwavering commitment to equitable access to quality education makes JNSS an ideal site for nurturing such opportunities. By aligning with Skills Council of Canada, we're forging an extraordinary link between traditional academic education and practical trade skills training, thereby enhancing our students' learning experience and future prospects."
Similarly, the partnership offers tremendous value for unions. It provides unions with a unique opportunity to shape the next generation of tradespeople. They can leverage these state-of-the-art facilities to instill the values of safety, craftsmanship, and industry ethics from the onset of a tradesperson's career. Furthermore, the partnership allows unions to ensure that training is aligned with industry best practices, thereby strengthening the trade workforce's overall competency and professionalism.
Employers stand to gain immensely from the depth and breadth of training possibilities this partnership offers. By partnering with Skills Council of Canada and taking advantage of the vast JNSS facilities, employers can more effectively upskill their workforce, making them more competitive and better equipped to adapt to the evolving market demands. This unique resource, thus, assists employers in their quest to enhance productivity, drive innovation, and foster a culture of continuous learning and excellence within their organizations.
At the provincial level, this initiative significantly contributes to Ontario's economic resilience and growth. By offering an unparalleled hub for trade skills training, it fosters a skilled and versatile workforce, a crucial component for economic success. Moreover, the collaboration encourages more individuals to pursue trades, promoting a thriving and balanced job market.
By investing in trade skills education and facilitating industry-aligned training through JNSS's extensive facilities, Skills Council of Canada reinforces its commitment to supporting the province's trades sector. This partnership is an affirmation of the shared vision of Skills Council of Canada, PDSB, JNSS, and all stakeholders to ensure the prosperity of Ontario's trade industry and its economy at large.
Brad Loiselle, CEO of Skills Council of Canada, voiced his confidence in the collaboration, remarking,
"We're dedicated to propelling advancements in skills training, reskilling, and upskilling that underpin industries nationwide, and this partnership signifies a remarkable leap forward in bolstering trade development throughout Ontario. It empowers us to imbue individuals with tangible skills, laying the groundwork for successful careers in trades and fostering a resilient, adept workforce that will be a driving force in Ontario's economic trajectory for years to come."
This partnership will also serve as a valuable resource for unemployed and underemployed individuals, providing access to skills development resources and job readiness support through SCC's collaboration support ecosystem. Furthermore, it offers an invaluable opportunity for Ontario's youth and students to access Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) and apprenticeship opportunities, ensuring well-rounded, career-ready individuals.
The partnership will roll out programs such as 'Try a Trade', 'Trade Evaluation', 'Trade Training', 'Trade Entrepreneurs', and 'Trade Workshops' supporting both local and international newcomers interested in the trades.
The Peel District School Board is one of Ontario's largest public-school boards and is renowned for its unwavering commitment to fostering high-quality education and inclusive learning environments for its diverse student population. With over 155,000 students in 257 schools, PDSB continues to embrace innovation and collaboration to create transformative learning experiences.
Judith Nyman Secondary School, a part of PDSB, is a unique institution that embodies the essence of hands-on, practical learning through its impressive suite of 17 distinct trade facilities. The school's dedication to providing an enriching and engaging learning environment prepares students for future career success while addressing the pressing need for skilled trades professionals in the province. From carpentry and plumbing to culinary arts and welding, JNSS is setting the pace for advanced trade education in Ontario.
This collaboration is not only a testament to the shared commitment of Skills Council of Canada, PDSB, and JNSS to skill development and education, but it also paves the way for other schools and institutions to redefine the future of trade skills training. In the face of rapid industrial advancement and a growing skills gap, this partnership serves as a beacon, illuminating the path towards a more skilled, productive, and prosperous Ontario.