Ontario Training Indigenous Workers and Women in Nuclear Industry Trades

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Ontario Training Indigenous Workers and Women in Nuclear Industry Trades


Free program will provide job placements in Bruce, Grey and Huron Counties


June 11, 2021

Labour, Training and Skills Development



BRUCE COUNTY – The Ontario government is investing $500,000 to help train Indigenous workers and women for skilled trades careers in the province’s clean nuclear energy sector. This one-year program, led by the Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries and the First Nations Power Authority, will focus on opening doors for underrepresented groups to enter in-demand careers in skilled trades such as boilermaker, carpenter, electrician and welder.


The funding was announced today by Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, who was joined by Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines and Minister of Indigenous Affairs, Lisa Thompson, Minister of Government and Consumer Services and MPP for Huron-Bruce, and Jane McKenna, Parliamentary Assistant to Minister McNaughton.


“We know that women and Indigenous communities have been especially hard hit by job losses during this pandemic,” said Minister McNaughton. “This great project gives participants the skills they need for good jobs in the clean nuclear energy sector as more tradesmen and women retire. Their success will have a positive impact on the local economy, and provide meaningful jobs that support them and their families.”


During this one-year program, participants will be trained in Bruce County, Grey County and Durham Region, with a virtual training option available. They will also have access to childcare supports, if needed, and subsidies of up to $3,000 for travel and accommodation during this time. Job placements will then be in Bruce, Grey and Huron counties.


“As Ontario continues to recover from the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring economic well-being for First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples is an ongoing priority,” said Minister Rickford. “This investment in training for Indigenous youth and women aligns with our government’s efforts to partner with Indigenous leaders and communities to break down socio-economic barriers and advance long-term prosperity for Indigenous people.”


The project, part of Ontario’s Skills Development Fund, will help grow the number of skilled workers required to extend the operating lives of 10 nuclear generating units at the Bruce and Darlington power plants and support smaller employers who supply nuclear equipment and tools to those sites. At the end of the training, participants may be hired for jobs in the industry.


Quick Facts


  • Interested candidates can apply for the program by contacting Terrilynn.woods@ocni.ca
  • In 2020, the unemployment rate in Ontario for Indigenous people was 12.5% compared to 9.5% for their non-Indigenous counterparts.
  • The Ontario unemployment rate for women was 10% in 2020, up from 5.5% in 2019.
  • Data suggest that the need to replace retiring workers is elevated in the skilled trades. In 2016, nearly 1 in 3 journeypersons were aged 55 years or older.
  • As part of the 2021 Budget, Ontario continues to support workers hardest hit by COVID-19 by investing an additional $614.3 million during 2020-21 and 2021-22 to provide targeted employment and training supports.
  • Ontario’s Skills Development Fund is supported through labour market transfer agreements between the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.




"Demand is high for talented tradespeople to train and work in Huron and Bruce Counties’ and our thriving clean nuclear energy sector. I’m really looking forward to welcoming trainees from across the province to the riding and to the positive impacts this program will generate for them, their families, and Ontario’s economy. This valuable program will prove that good quality, high-skilled jobs have a home in small-town Ontario."


- Lisa Thompson
Minister of Government and Consumer Services and MPP for Huron-Bruce


"This OCNI/FNPA-led project called ‘Skilled Trades Pathway for Indigenous People and Women into Nuclear Sector’ aligns perfectly with the objectives of the Skills Development Fund. It connects groups hardest hit by the pandemic with a sector that is leading Ontario’s economic recovery while contributing to the province’s GHG emissions reduction program."


- Ron Oberth
Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries President and CEO


"First Nations Power Authority is excited about our foray into the Ontario electricity market and more particularly the Small Modular Reactor Technology marketplace. We have been actively engaging with OCNI, Atunda, the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Union Local 128, and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters Union Local 2222. These occupations will help to build a stronger Ontario, a stronger Canada and together with our partners look to build towards a cleaner energy future."


- Guy Lonechild
First Nations Power Authority President and CEO


"I am excited to see this investment in skilled trades for Bruce, Grey and Huron Counties. The nuclear supply chain in the province is strong, and the nuclear sector offers well-paying and rewarding careers. I thank the OCNI for taking on this important project."


- Bill Walker
Associate Minister of Energy and MPP for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound


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