Will Bouma
Will Bouma

Ontario Helping First Nations Communities Prepare for Good Jobs


March 12, 2020

Ontario Helping First Nations Communities Prepare for Good Jobs

Government Approves First Indigenous Institute to Deliver Apprenticeship Training 


BRANTFORD — Ontario is helping people in Indigenous communities prepare for good jobs in the skilled trades.

Today, Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, announced the approval of Six Nations Polytechnic as an apprenticeship Training Delivery Agent. The post-secondary institute is the first Indigenous Institute to be granted this status and can now deliver apprenticeship training for three trades: general machinist, cook and welder.

“One in five jobs is going to be in the skilled trades in the next five years,” said Minister McNaughton. “Those are paycheques that will be waiting to be collected, hopefully soon, by new apprentices from Six Nations of the Grand River. Today’s announcement is a big step toward that goal.”

In the third quarter of 2019, there were 21,000 vacant jobs in the Hamilton-Niagara area, with demand for welders, millwrights, electricians and machinists.

The government also renewed funding of $395,000 to Six Nations Polytechnic to continue delivering pre-apprenticeship training for general machinists, cooks and welders.

In the upcoming fiscal year, the funding will support:

  • 18 pre-apprenticeship trainee general machinists, beginning April 13
  • 8 pre-apprenticeship trainee cooks, beginning April 20
  • 15 pre-apprenticeship trainee welders, beginning July 6

“It’s great news that apprenticeship training is coming to Canada’s most populous First Nation,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Indigenous Affairs. “We’re looking forward to seeing apprentice general machinists, cooks and welders from Six Nations Polytechnic take up rewarding positions in their fields.”

“Six Nations Polytechnic continues to respond to skilled trades shortages and labour market challenges,” said Six Nation Polytechnic President and CEO Rebecca Jamieson. “This pre-apprenticeship funding creates 41 opportunities for eligible learners to begin a successful career in one of three trades – welder, machinist and cook. Earning Training Delivery Agent status for these trades is a truly momentous occasion. Six Nations Polytechnic, together with area employers, can now offer local apprenticeship opportunities right here in the City of Brantford.”

Six Nations Polytechnic will now work with the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development to create in-class apprenticeship training programs.


  • Six Nations Polytechnic is an Indigenous Institute under Ontario’s 2017 Indigenous Institute Act. The legislation recognizes Indigenous Institutes as unique and complementary pillars of Ontario’s postsecondary education system overseen by Indigenous-controlled and -governed councils.
  • Ontario is making a historic investment of $20.8 million into its Pre-Apprenticeship Program this year, an increase of $5 million from the previous year, to help introduce and provide free pre-trades training to over 1,800 people. Training is delivered by Ontario colleges, private career colleges, union and non-union training centres and other community organizations.
  • To find out about pre-apprenticeship training programs, contact Employment Ontario by phone, e-mail or live chat.
  • On May 29, 2019, Ontario passed the Modernizing the Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2019 to help transform the skilled trades and apprenticeship system, reduce red tape, and make Ontario open for business and open for jobs.


Find a career you wouldn’t trade
Apprenticeship in Ontario
Employment Ontario
Skilled trades and apprenticeship system changes


For more information, contact MPP Will Bouma at 519-759-0361 or will.bouma@pc.ola.org