OCNI awarded a Grant of nearly $495,000 to support innovative skills training project

April 18 2018, Pickering, Ontario. – The Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries (OCNI) is proud to announce that it has received a $494,872 grant over one year from the Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development’s (MAESD) “Skills Catalyst Fund” to undertake a talent development program that will promote education and training in skilled trades to underrepresented groups including youth, women, and indigenous peoples. The OCNI-led project will provide career opportunities for under-represented groups while enhancing the pipeline of skilled trades people required to refurbish and replace major components at 10 nuclear generating units at the Darlington and Bruce sites.

The three-year Skills Catalyst Fund initiative was launched in December 2017, and provides one-time funding to help a diverse set of organizations launch high-impact innovative projects that better align education, skills training, and employment services with the needs of employers and the economy. Key objectives of the Skills Catalyst Fund are to: 1) build meaningful partnerships that align education, training, and employment service systems better with the needs of employers, and prepares students, jobseekers, and incumbent workers for in-demand jobs; and 2) encourage innovative ideas and solutions that strengthen education, training, and employment service programs to better plan for, and respond to the needs of the economy.

“The OCNI-led project called “Skilled Trades Employment Pathway to the Clean Energy Sector” aligns perfectly with these objectives by connecting young and diverse career-seeking people from various regions and indigenous territories across the province with employers from OCNI’s membership of more than 200 Ontario nuclear equipment suppliers and service providers” said OCNI President and CEO Ron Oberth. “The significant increase in demand for skilled trades needed to undertake Ontario’s $25B 20-year program to extend the operation of Darlington and Bruce reactors can only be met through innovative grassroots recruitment and training processes along with close collaboration among the utilities, industry, unions, colleges, high schools and indigenous territories”.    

“OCNI’s project is exactly the type of partnership we need in Ontario’s changing economy — one that brings workers, employers, educators and learners together,” said Mitzie Hunter, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development. “We established the Skills Catalyst Fund to support initiatives that take a creative and innovative approach to skills building in the province, and that’s exactly what this project does. I want to thank the Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries for their work, and welcome their insights as we build a stronger, more responsive training system suited to the needs of employers and workers.”

The OCNI project brings together a strong group of organizations and individuals with complementary skills and experience to tackle this important challenge. The team includes Interconnections Research International and Express HR of Durham Region, OCNI member companies Promation Nuclear of Oakville and Brotech of Barrie, Mike Ruysseveldt of the Six Nations of the Grand River, and head of OCNI’s First Nations, Metis and Inuit Engagement Committee, and Jacques Plourde of the Canadian Nuclear Society.  Kevin Baker of Durham College has agreed to serve as project advisor.  With support from the Skills Catalyst Fund grant, the OCNI-led team will launch an outreach, talent acquisition, and industry educational training program designed to attract and recruit youth in the Durham Region and beyond as well as other under-represented groups to industrial trade apprenticeships in nuclear sector.

“The demand for qualified candidates to fill positions required in Ontario’s strong and regionally spread nuclear supply chain sector is expected to grow in the near and long-term as Ontario increasingly relies on secure, low-cost, low-carbon sources of energy” said Darryl Spector, Vice President of Promation Nuclear and chair of OCNI’s Education and Skills Development Committee. “Since traditional sources of supply for trades will not be sufficient to meet this demand we need to proactively source talent from non-traditional demographics such as youth, women, and Indigenous groups.” 

A major component of the OCNI Skills Trades Pathway project will be to build a promotional campaign in Durham Region and in other regions in southern Ontario through which students in high schools, middle schools, and Indigenous Polytechnic Institutes will learn about exciting and reward career opportunities in Ontario’s nuclear sector. The project will also involve a classroom-based youth outreach program in Durham to enhance youth soft skill competencies as well as mentoring of teachers in Bruce County by 40 Bruce Power and OCNI company engineers and trades people. In addition, program participants will attend “Nuclear 101” courses delivered by the Canadian Nuclear Society on the basic nuclear essentials prior to being matched to an employer.   The goal of this ambitious one-years project is to assign 50 participants to on-the-job training programs with OCNI company employers based on career interests and employer needs. The intent is that these partially subsidized placements will lead to formal apprenticeships upon completion of the experiential learning compone A major component of the OCNI Skills Trades Pathway project will be to build a promotional campaign in Durham Region and in other regions in southern Ontario through which students in high schools, middle schools, and Indigenous Polytechnic Institutes will learn about exciting and reward career opportunities in Ontario’s nuclear sector. The project will also involve a classroom-based youth outreach program in Durham to enhance youth soft skill competencies as well as mentoring of teachers in Bruce County by 40 Bruce Power and OCNI company engineers and trades people. In addition, program participants will attend “Nuclear 101” courses delivered by the Canadian Nuclear Society on the basic nuclear essentials prior to being matched to an employer.  

The goal of this ambitious one-years project is to assign 50 participants to on-the-job training programs with OCNI company employers based on career interests and employer needs. The intent is that these partially subsidized placements will lead to formal apprenticeships upon completion of the experiential learning component of the project. nt of the project.

                                                                                                                                   -30-

Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries (OCNI) is an association of more than 200 Ontario-based suppliers to the nuclear industry that employ more than 14,000 highly skilled and specialized engineers, technologists, and trades people. OCNI companies design reactors, manufacture major equipment and components, and provide engineering services and support to CANDU nuclear power plants in Canada as well as to CANDU and Light Water Reactor (LWR) plants in offshore markets.

Interconnections Research International (IRI) brings a strategic focus to the creation and implementation of training/development programs, HR enhancements, and business advisory services. In addition to business advisory and development, IRI Inc. has sponsored and coordinated Youth Entrepreneurship and Youth Employment Readiness Programs (YERP) in the GTA area since 2005/2006 with great success rates.

 

For Further Information Contact:                                                                                                                       

Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries:  

Ron Oberth, President and CEO, (905) 839 -0073 or (647) 407-6081, ron.oberth@ocni.ca  

Interconnections Research International: Nicole Andrews, CEO, 905.449.6455, Nicole@interconn.ca

 

Download Full News Release