More money for trades

Demand for skilled workers is on the rise and with new funding Fanshawe is ready to train them.

London MPPs Khalil Ramal and Chris Bentley announced on February 27 new funding for Fanshawe College in the amount of $800,000.

The grant comes from the Apprenticeship Enhancement Fund (AEF), which aims at helping the province's colleges of applied arts and technology with updating training equipment and facilities relating to specific industry standards.

Through the AEF, the college is going to invest in simulation software and accompanying stations that will teach electrical, mechanical, pneumatic and hydraulic principles to various trades, as stated in a release.

Training in these principles will enable students to keep pace with technological changes and allow for the college to train more apprentices.

During the announcement Ramal stated this new fund is reinvesting in Fanshawe College that advances on a daily basis. With funds such as this one, the college will be able to go forward and be able to keep up with technological changes, said Ramal.

According to Rod Cameron, Dean, Faculty of Technology at Fanshawe College, the equipment is going to be portable and will be used across the region.

“Each unit will provide training for approximately 10 to 15 students at one given time,” Cameron said.

Cameron noted the students would be able to make mistakes on the simulators (online) and learn from their mistakes before attempting ‘real' jobs in the workplace.

The need for skilled workers has never been more prominent.

“Skills training must stay current to build the skilled workforce we need to strengthen Ontario's economy,” said Ramal in a press release.

The apprenticeship expansion is aimed at expanding the apprenticeship system and help increase registration and completion rates in Ontario.

The funding will help colleges in the following ways:

- Renovate existing facilities, which include portable apprenticeship training units

- In order to meet industry standards and support greater enrolment, existing equipment will be replaced or modernized to meet standards

- Purchase new equipment

- Persons with disabilities will have greater access to new equipment

All upgrades are part of the $2 billion Skills to Jobs Action Plan, and through AEF, the Ontario government will provide $40 million over the next three years to 23 colleges and for 25 projects.

The money will be used to purchase state-of-the-art equipment and to modernize training equipment and facilities.

Ontario launched AEF in 2001.
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