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TRAINING & EDUCATION: Two opportunities for construction employers to get involved, set the tone
August 30th, 2018 7:49 am     A+ | a-

Amina Dibe / RESCON

RESCON’s two major training and education projects which are aimed at addressing the current and worsening shortage of skilled trades workers in the residential construction sector in the GTA hit major milestones this summer. They now depend on the involvement of members and sub-trade employers.


RESCON members, builders and sub-trades can assist by:

1. Encouraging their employees (who work on the tools) to complete the following survey at this link. This survey – created by Job Talks – focuses on skilled trades workers’ attitudes, beliefs and on-site experience. All responses will be kept confidential and will be used to improve the retention of skilled trade workers in the GTA.

2. Create placement opportunities for recent graduates from Humber in the high-rise forming, tile, concrete and drain, and framing sectors of the residential industry.

Graduates were involved in pre-placement activities – including networking events with ORCCA members, visiting active sites and getting comprehensive resume and interview advice. If you are interested in placing a recent graduate, or know someone who is, please contact me ( or Andrew Pariser (


Both projects, as previously discussed, are partially funded from MTCU grants (formally known as MAESD). RESCON’s applications for both projects were successfully approved in the spring. At the end of July, Andrew and I authored a blog that introduced these projects in greater detail.

RESCON-Humber Graduate Skilled Trades Placement Program (aka the Humber Pilot).

- Will see the creation of a digital training, on-boarding and informational module.

- Will see the creation of 15-20 work placements from September 2018 to March 2019 for recent graduates from Humber’s Centre for Skilled Trades and Technology.

- Recent graduates will be placed with ORCCA members’ employers, specifically in the trades of: Concrete and Drain; High-Rise Forming; Low-Rise Framing; Tile, Terrazzo and Marble; Trim Carpentry; and Railings Manufacturing and Installation.

This August, the pilot hit a major milestone by releasing the module. The module is broken down into two portions: one intended for job seekers, the other for employers.

The job seeker module provides career clarity by detailing what certain trades entail, including job duties and expectations from employers. It also covers basic health and safety training and different types of residential building environments.

The employer module is intended for front-line management, site-supervisors, and college and/or trade school instructors or career advisers who have some form of supervising, mentoring or teaching role related to new hires working in the construction industry. This module provides information related to recruitment, on-boarding, workplace health and safety, and workplace violence and harassment prevention. It will also help you learn more about the experiences of recent hires in the trades, and factors which are important for employee retention.

Finishing the modules was a huge breakthrough, as these modules are online and open-sourced, making for an accessible, informal guide for both job seekers and employers in the GTA’s construction industry. Including input from Andrew, me, and Humber staff and faculty, the modules were created by Humber Media and Human Resources students and recent graduates who used skills and knowledge gained through their studies to apply to this unique industry project. Input was also provided from industry partners from ORCCA. The modules can be accessed at this link.



Formally known as the Retaining Employees in the Skilled Trades (REST) project, this research-based project will fill an information gap related to recruitment and retention of tradespeople. It will focus specifically on the residential and residential-related infrastructure construction trades.

Building on the project’s kick-off event held in May, which included presentations from leading behavioural economist Jason Stewart, and Job Talks executive director Jon Callegher, the project will:

- see the publication of a literature review to document existing best practices
- administer a survey of more than 300 tradespeople employed in residential and residential-related infrastructure trades, and the subsequent analysis of what draws individuals to work in the trades and why they stay in the trades.

More information on these projects can be found on our blog.

These initiatives would not have been made possible without the financial support from the Ontario government and the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.
Specifically, the RESCON-Humber Graduate Skilled Trades Placement Program, made possible through the Career Ready Fund: Stream 3. And the RETAINING EMPLOYEES IN THE SKILLED TRADES, through the Ontario Labour Market Partnerships fund.

Thanks for reading! Have a great holiday weekend.


Amina Dibe is a policy and programs analyst for RESCON with a focus on training and apprenticeship, health and safety and government relations. Email her at

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