CTMA’s Career-Ready program improving precision metalworking industry
Since launching the first Career-Ready program in 2019, the Canadian Tooling & Machining Association (CTMA) has changed the lives of many and is paving the way for future workers within the precision metalworking industry.
The Career-Ready with CTMA: Expanding Opportunities program, funded in part by the Skills Development Fund, provides non-repayable funding to eligible employers to subsidize the wages of new hires or to upskill existing employees. In 2023, employers participating in the program have been able to receive up to $15,000 for each new hire, depending on start date.
The machinery provided to schools through the Career-Ready program ranges from CNC milling centres, lathes, and plasma cutters, to CNC desktop milling machines, high precision conventional milling machines, lathes with readouts, and more. CTMA photo
“We know that our members are training people everyday in their workplaces and that this comes at a cost,” said Robert Cattle, CTMA’s executive director. “If we help support them by offering a wage subsidy to compensate for their time, they will hire more employees, offer more co-ops and upskill more existing employees.”
The program provides participants with experiential work placements to improve the skills needed for great job opportunities within the precision metalworking industry. Each participant works alongside experienced tradespeople who provide them with an opportunity to gain real world skills and knowledge.
Participants include individuals who want to start an apprenticeship, high school graduates, post-secondary graduates or co-op students, job seekers looking for full-time employment, and existing employees looking to upskill.
Through the second part of this program, the CTMA, in partnership with the Ontario Council for Technology Education (OCTE), the Government of Ontario, the Government of Canada, and school boards throughout Ontario, has provided new high-tech machinery and tools to 99 high schools throughout the province.
The machinery ranges from CNC milling centres, lathes, and plasma cutters, to CNC desktop milling machines, high precision conventional milling machines, lathes with readouts, and more.
“Delivering these machines to high schools throughout Ontario and exposing students to technology at an earlier age has been instrumental in engaging their interest for a career within our industry,” said Cattle. “Not only does this allow students to use this technology at an earlier age, but also gives teachers up-to-date machinery in their classrooms.”
More than 10,000 students have been exposed to and have benefitted from the machinery provided by the CTMA through the Career-Ready program. Of the 10,000 students, more than 3,500 have begun industry-related co-ops or apprenticeships. CTMA photo
As a result, more than 10,000 students have been exposed to and have benefitted from this machinery. Of the 10,000 students, more than 3,500 have begun industry-related co-ops or apprenticeships.
“To build a stronger Ontario that leaves no one behind, we need to ensure young people can get a hand up to the skills they need for in-demand jobs,” said David Piccini, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “That is why our government will continue to invest in innovative projects like CTMA’s Career-Ready program, which connects students and graduates to local employers and spreads opportunity to every corner of our province.”
So far, the Career-Ready with CTMA program has provided more than 1,000 experiential work placements and installed high-tech machinery in 99 schools throughout Ontario. Additional funding has been requested from the Ontario government in the hopes that this program can continue through 2024 and into 2025.
“This exciting partnership is providing much-needed support for our manufacturing technology high school programs and will go a long way in reducing the skilled trades gap in the precision metalworking industry,” said Dave Lewis, OCTE past chair.
More information about the Career-Ready with CTMA: Expanding Opportunities program is available here.
This employment Ontario program is funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.