In just over a month, Labour Minister Monte McNaughton is inspiring optimism in trade professionals by following through on his commitment to learning more about how training is critical for safe and effective services.
In an earlier post, we reported on Minister Monte McNaughton’s July 12 meeting with business managers of IBEW CCO. During that meeting, which occurred shortly after his appointment as Minister of Labour, he expressed his commitment to arranging a road trip across Ontario to learn more about the education and training programs provided by the IBEW locals.
True to his word, his recent visit on August 19th to Local 586 Ottawa Training Centre was a resounding success. The Minister met with 25 local area Building Trades representatives followed by a tour of Local 586 Training Center. He listened to concerns and suggestions from various representatives and appeared engaged in learning more.
John Bourke, Business Manager stated, “the Minister was genuinely interested and we feel that it was a productive meeting. We look forward to a good working relationship with Minister McNaughton.”
George Kardaras, Training Director for Local 586, led the tour after the meeting. He provided the Minister with background on their training centre’s successful apprenticeship program, noting a 98 percent completion rate, significantly higher than non-union training centres.
Kardaras also noted the cost-effectiveness for both the public and apprentices. The public benefits from the fact that the IBEW invests in its apprentices, paying for training to the highest standards. Which in turn, ensures safe and effective work for a pool of skilled workers in the future.
Apprentices benefit from IBEW’s financial contributions to offset costs of mandatory textbooks, as well as tutoring and other mentoring support. Each will ensure they receive the necessary work experience to complete their apprenticeship.
“Safety is our number one priority which is why we provide a Health & Safety course first,” added Kardaras.
“Our commitment to the success of our apprentices is paramount and the reason that our IBEW apprentice completion rates are so high, “ said James Barry, Executive Chairman of IBEW CCO. Barry attended both the meetings with the Minister.
Minister McNaughton was accompanied on the tour by his Parliamentary Assistant Jane McKenna and both expressed how impressed they were with the IBEW’s level of training and commitment to supporting apprentices.