AMDSB partners with tech group to offer new pilot program

·3 min read

STRATFORD – Technical Training Group (TTG) and the Avon Maitland District School Board (AMDSB) are working together on an innovative Welding and Metal Fabrication Pathway Program for youth in Huron and Perth counties.

The new pilot pre-apprenticeship Pathway Program will be offered at Stratford District Secondary School for youth in both counties.

“This program is tuition-free and a great opportunity for people to get into the skilled trades at an early age. There are many employment opportunities in the skilled trades throughout Huron and Perth. This program will be a gateway for well-paying, fulfilling careers as welders, metal fabricators, millwrights or sheet metal workers and help support the demand for skilled workers in our communities,” TTG Business Manager Shawn Bontaine said.

TTG delivered three 25-week manufacturing pre-apprenticeship multiple trades exposure programs in 2021, funded by the Ministry of Labour, Training, and Skills Development (MLTSD). These programs were delivered at three of AMDSB's secondary schools.

Jodi Froud, Pathways Coordinator at the Avon Maitland District School Board Education Centre, told the Wingham Advance Times in an email, "the pre-apprenticeship programs that have been happening for the past year have been taking place at Central Huron Secondary School, Listowel District Secondary School, and Stratford District Secondary School. These take place during the evenings.

“The main difference is that this program will be embedded during the day and will be targeting youth ages 16 - 21. The success of the program will determine the future of growing the embedded model into other schools.”

More information about the programs can be found at

This pilot program aims to support students who are graduating or are recent graduates, youth looking for an opportunity to realign their existing pathway plan, or for those who have not yet identified a career path.

“We are very pleased to extend the longstanding partnership between AMDSB and TTG to offer enhanced programming to youth in our communities. By leveraging available space in our schools and embedding industry partners, we are able to offer unique, innovative and enriching experiences such as the pilot program we are announcing today,” Superintendent of Education Jane Morris said.

“In AMDSB we strive to prepare students for their next step and to prepare them for a changing world. The Welding and Metal Fabrication Pathway pilot program creates a place for youth to explore employment in the trades and we are excited by the potential that this will offer youth.”

According to a press release from the AMDSB, the in-class portion of the program will run three afternoons per week at Stratford District Secondary School from September until the end of January. The program will deliver hands-on training and theory in welding and metal fabricating, basic blueprint reading, trade math, and employment preparation classes offered in partnership with the Conestoga Career Centre.

The program will culminate in an eight-week, full-time, paid work placement with a local employer starting in February 2022. The goal is that these work placements will connect youth with full-time employment opportunities, allowing them to build on the skills they have acquired in the program and pursue careers in the skilled trades.

Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times

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