New training programs to attract more Indigenous people from northwestern Ontario into the skilled trades.

The province is providing over seven million dollars on eight training projects.

Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development Minister David Piccini (pih-CHEE-knee) says 1,700 people will benefit.

"It's going to help in critical sectors like mining, logging, construction, healthcare, and tourism. Because our government believes that anyone who wants to work should have the opportunity to help build a better Ontario," says Piccini.

Piccini adds participants will have access to a range of employment and training opportunities such as technical training, on-the-job learning, and paid placements.

One of the projects involves the Ironworkers Local 759 in Thunder Bay.

The free training program will help about 100 workers and job seekers upgrade their skills.

The other seven are led by various organizations across multiple industries.

"These groups come forward and identify in-demand jobs needed to be filled in their own respective communities. As a government, we have the funding envelope, this largest skills development funding envelope in this province's history, to say we're going to match the funding and the training with those in-demand jobs that we need to fill," says Piccini.

The International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental & Reinforcing Ironworkers Local 759. It is $197,686 for a project aimed at recruiting, training, and upgrading the skills of all members and new Indigenous apprentices.

Indigenous Tourism Ontario is receiving $1,432,550 to address strategic training needs within the Indigenous tourism industry, helping 865 people prepare for careers in the tourism and hospitality sector.

Sioux Lookout Friendship Accord is receiving $2,290,410 for training for jobs in the mining industry. The training for about 62 people will be provided through Northern and Confederation College and industry-recognized training institutions.

Anishinabek Employment & Training Services is receiving $891,516 for a project that will prepare 30 Indigenous workers for careers in mining.

Ksalsuti Wellness Resources is receiving $961,000 for a project focused on helping 25 Indigenous participants complete their training and enter specific careers in the healthcare sector.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1687 is receiving $715,429 to improve access to training opportunities and increase First Nation representation in the electrical sector.

The Northern Centre for Advanced Technology is receiving $500,000 for a program development series designed to prepare participants in carers in forestry, mining, and exploration.

The Sault Community Information & Career Centre is receiving $376,341 for a program that empowers Indigenous workers and job seekers who face high barriers to entering the skilled trades and increases access to Ontario’s apprenticeship system.