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Power of Trades

Explore a future in the skilled trades. 

Program Overview

The Power of Trades program is a pre-employment training program for newcomers to Canada. We work with program participants by giving them the tools and support needed to start their new life here. During a four-week session, participants receive information and practical advice about finding and keeping a job in the skilled trades in Ontario. Examples of material covered in the training include understanding the apprenticeship process in Ontario, labour laws and regulations in Ontario, what Canadian trades employers look for in new employees, resume and interview preparation, and guest speakers from the local industry.

After completing the four-week classroom training, participants take part in a three-week work placement in the skilled trade of their choice.

Participation Requirements

To sign up for the program, you must:

  • Be a permanent resident or convention refugee
  • Be an Ontario resident
  • Have a strong interest in the skilled trades
  • 18 years of age or older

Benefits of the Power of Trades Program

  • Four weeks of in-class preparation training
  • Three weeks of work placement in a skilled trade of your choice
  • Orientation to skilled trades and apprenticeships
  • Access to workplace certifications that employers require for new employees
  • Access to academic upgrading (Ontario Secondary School Diploma)
  • Ongoing individualized job search support

Are the Skilled Trades Right for You?

Skilled trades are hands-on jobs in the construction, motive power, industrial, and service sectors. With over 140 skilled trades, career options are diverse and offer great opportunities for advancement, high salaries, and options for self-employment.

144 Skilled Trades in Ontario


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Motive Power 

Woman working


Industrial 1


Woman walking with cloth in her hand

Next program start dates are on June 17 and September 16, 2024

For more information email:


“The Power of Trades program gave me a very clear vision of what is possible to do in Canada. With the tools that I received in the program, I was able to access the Home Renovation Program course at York Construction Academy and was trained in the area of construction, which has allowed me to have a better job in the area where I worked in my country. I am very grateful to YMCA.„

Cristian Penaloza Valero
Student, Home Renovation Course,
York Construction Academy

“Power of Trades is an interesting program that helped me to start my career in Canada. Some of the program's highlights were employment readiness, resume building, job search strategies, an apprenticeship, and interview presentations. I’m currently working as an Early Child Care Assistant at the YMCA of Greater Toronto because of this program. Thanks to my instructors and everyone in the program for the opportunity.„

Mizan Zemariam
Early Childhood Assistant,
YMCA of Greater Toronto

“The four-week Power of Trades program helped me as a newcomer in Canada to choose a skilled trade (Cabinet maker).

The training included understanding the apprenticeship process in Canada, labour laws, Service excellence training, working at heights, standard first aid, CPR, Automated External Defibrillator (AED) certification, and guest speakers from local industries. I am happy that I got registered in the Union through my mentor from the Power of Trades team.„

Sundeep Mathew Chandy
Carpenters and Allied Workers Local 27 Union

Are You an Employer With Recruitment Needs?

The Power of Trades benefits employers, too. By choosing to partner with us, not only will you be aiding our goal, but you will also be getting support with diversified hiring. Partnering with the program provides you with:

  • Support with staffing needs and diversified hiring
  • Access to a pool of pre-screened candidates of all skill levels in all four trades sectors
  • Work placements with pre-screened, mature learners
  • Mentorship opportunities
  • Guest-speaking opportunities at workshops

For more information, email

We Work With All Employers