Ontario provides $171,500 to Quinte Home Builders’ Association to support skilled trades


FRIDAY, AUG. 20, 2021

BAY OF QUINTE – The Ontario government is supporting an initiative which will help promote construction trades in the region and will provide an opportunity to connect people with information and education on careers in construction trades.  This will aid in promoting the viability of careers in local construction trades while contributing to the long-term success of the local economy and aid Ontario’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, Todd Smith, the MPP for Bay of Quinte, announced that the Quinte Home Builders’ Association (QHBA) will receive $171,500 from the Skills Development Fund (SDF) for its’ One Stop Shop Skilled Trades Website and Build Your Home in the Bay of Quinte project.

“Promoting the trades amongst underrepresented groups and matching skilled labour to meet the needs of local employers is critical to the growth and sustainability of our region’s economy as we continue to recover from COVID-19,” said Minister Smith. “This project will help to develop an online local resource for job seekers, employers and other stakeholders, promote the trades as a career of choice, and promote living and working in trades in the region.”

Ruth Estwick, the Chief Executive Officer of the QHBA, explained that member construction employers across the region are experiencing labour shortages, and it is the role of the QHBA as the industry’s advocate to promote the trades as a career choice to all, and especially to underrepresented groups.

“There are so many benefits of working in in our industry and we want to ensure that we play a role in changing the perception of what it is like to work in a construction trade and attempting to remove barriers to employment for unrepresented groups is a significant part of that,” Estwick said. “This project will seek to connect people to jobs, and jobs to people, while providing a wealth of information and education to those seeking to learn more about a career in the trades. We also hope to encourage existing trades to discover what it’s like to work and live in this beautiful region.”

QHBA President Jon Van Huizen is extremely proud of the work the Association has done to bring to light the tremendous need for skilled tradespeople in our region.

“We are so proud of the investment by the Ontario government into this project which will help connect people to the information they need to start an exciting and well-paying career in the trades,” said Van Huizen. “Our industry is one of those sectors which provides critical work and economic benefits to the community, and skilled tradespeople are a key component of our industry’s workforce. When you add the benefits of living and working in this beautiful region, it is a win, win situation for everyone.”

“This important project will enhance all the great work the Association does in the skilled trades space and we are excited to launch it,” said Brad Newbatt, the Skilled Trades Advisory Group Chair.  “Skilled tradespeople are retiring at alarming rates in our region and filling those jobs would be difficult without the promotion of trades as a well-paying career option. This project will engage youth, women and other underrepresented groups to consider a skilled trade for their career choice and will assist our industry in closing the growing labour gap.”

Funding comes as part of the government’s $115-million Skills Development Fund to address challenges to hiring, training and retraining workers during the COVID-19 pandemic and is part of the province’s 2021 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy.

"Across Ontario, there are well-paying and rewarding jobs that are waiting to be filled, including good jobs here in Bay of Quinte,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “By training people with the right skills we giving them a hand up to starting life-long careers and earning bigger paycheques for their families.”


  • Data suggests that the need to replace retiring workers is greater for skilled trades workers than for other occupations. In 2016, nearly one in three journeypersons were aged 55 years or older.
  • According to Statistics Canada, more than 500,000 people were employed in construction in Ontario in 2020.
  • The median hourly wage rate of constructions supervisors in Ontario in 2020 was $36.20 per hour.
  • In the first quarter of 2021, there were 13,380 job vacancies in the construction sector in Ontario, up from 11,075 in the first quarter of 2020.
  • Ontario’s Skills Development Fund is supported through labour market transfer agreements between the Government of Canada and Government of Ontario.