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College looking to partner with local employers to train young people for life-changing careers and address critical labour shortage in the industry.

(London, Ontario) - 

The Ontario government is investing $1.3 million in Fanshawe College’s Corporate Training Solutions (CTS) to launch free pre-apprentice programs in Carpentry, Welding and Automotive Service Technicians. All three of these trades are highly in demand and can offer the potential to earn six-figure salaries with pensions and benefits. There are currently 17,000 jobs going unfilled in London—including many in the skilled trades—and Ontario will need 100,000 more workers in the industry over the next decade.

“Pre-apprenticeship training is one of the best gateways to a career in the trades,” says Heather Carey, manager of CTS. "These are important programs that can help employers add talent and enhance their trades team with enthusiastic new employees eager to apply their knowledge, skills and passion to grow in a rewarding career in the trades.”

The pre-apprentice programs, funded by the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development, consist of 18 weeks of robust hands-on training covering the practical theory and skills development required to become a Level 1 certified apprentice. Once the students become Level 1 apprentices, they are required to complete a 12-week paid work placement in their related trade between October 2023 and January 2024. 

“The skilled trades offer meaningful, well-paying careers where you can buy a home and start a family,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “Our government is proud to invest in free pre-apprenticeship programs to give students a hand up to better jobs and bigger paycheques. I urge any skilled trades employers in London looking to support the next generation to contact Fanshawe and see how they can participate.”

Employers interested in hosting a work placement are asked to contact Julie Neufeld, project coordinator of the pre-apprenticeship programs, at

“We look forward to working with employers to help set up this group of willing and enthusiastic participants for skilled trades success,” says Neufeld. “Together we can strengthen the future of skilled trades in Ontario by building the confidence, competencies and career options for the next generation of skilled tradespeople.”

In-person classes and lab training are taking place at Fanshawe’s London Campus., supplemented by a variety of online activities focused on enhancing employability skills (e.g., AI practice interviews, tools to help with resume and cover letters and self-confidence development workshops). To find out more about the programs, go to

“Ontario’s investment in free pre-apprentice programs in Carpentry, Welding and Automotive Service Technicians will help alleviate many of the unfilled jobs in London and surrounding communities,” said Rob Flack, Member of Provincial Parliament for Elgin-Middlesex-London. “With generational investments coming to our region, such as the Volkswagen Battery Plant, investments in programs such as Fanshawe College’s Corporate Training Solutions will help students find better jobs and earn bigger pay cheques.”

The funding announced today is part of a province-wide investment of more than $28 million in pre-apprenticeships, which provides young people with the training they need to launch rewarding careers in the skilled trades and tackle the province’s historic labour shortage. Recently the province announced apprenticeships have increased by 24 per cent and nearly 30 per cent among women.

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