Rock to Road

Construction Bootcamp training aims to kickstart careers

May 4, 2022  By  Don Horne

CLAC Training is offering a new construction Bootcamp training program in Ontario to help individuals with limited or no experience in the skilled trades gain the skills they need to start a fulfilling, well-paying construction career.

“CLAC’s construction Bootcamp is a partnership between CLAC, signatory employers, and community partners to provide over 100 local individuals with the essential skills to start their construction careers,” says Colin de Raaf, CLAC Training Ontario Director. “It is one small step to addressing the skilled trades shortage in the construction sector.”

Bootcamp includes a free, three-week entry-level training program, with an eight-week paid job placement with a local construction employer. It is currently offered in Cambridge and Grimsby and will soon expand to other areas of the province.

The program was developed with the aid of a $1.5 million grant from the Ontario government’s Skill Development Fund (SDF). The Ministry of Labour, Training, and Skills Development is investing $200 million dollars through partnerships with training groups, community organizations, and unions that develop fresh ideas for training that upskill workers and connect them to lucrative careers close to home.


“Over the next decade, Ontario is projected to need 100,000 more workers in construction and the skilled trades,” says Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “These jobs often offer six-figure salaries with pensions and benefits and are paycheques waiting to be collected. That is why our government is supporting programs like the CLAC Training Bootcamp, which will get more young people into these life-changing careers.”

“This program is a fantastic introduction to the dynamic construction industry and an essential broad range of skill sets,” says Karen Renkema, Vice-President, Ontario, at the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA). “Providing hands-on experience in one of the fastest growing fields is a great way to launch a construction career and help ease the critical shortage of skilled trades workers.”

During the three weeks of in-class, online, and hands-on training, participants will learn about construction health and safety, how to safely use hand and power tools, communication skills and conflict management, construction-oriented math, and more. Participants will also earn mandatory safety certificates.

During the eight-week paid work placement, participants will apply their new skills and experience on the job, while receiving support from CLAC staff, workplace mentors, and their employer.

Additional program supports include up to 26 weeks of one-on-one career-based support from CLAC staff and community partners, which includes needs-based financial assistance toward childcare, accommodation, and transportation. Participants will also receive a tool kit valued at $450 and full personal protective equipment and clothing.

Employers will also receive wage subsidies of 50 per cent to support a successful eight-week paid work placement.

To learn more about enrolling in the program, or how to refer others to the program, visit

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