Workforce WindsorEssex Launches Report to Support Skilled Trades Employers Hiring Newcomers

New report highlights employment opportunities for experienced newcomers in the skilled trades

For Immediate Release
October 12, 2022

Windsor, ON – Today, Workforce WindsorEssex released a report, Newcomers in the Skilled Trades, to provide recommendations to improve employment outcomes for newcomers in the skilled trades, including how to better connect with hiring employers.

As of 2016, almost one in three trade certificate holders were aged 55 or older, likely nearing retirement. However, the Ontario construction industry will need over 100,000 additional workers to fill retirement gaps and growth in the industry. As many newcomers have relevant experience when they arrive in Canada, with a recent Workforce WindsorEssex survey noting 15% of responding newcomers had skilled trades experience, newcomers are a great fit to fill the talent pool for local employers.

A total of 66% of newcomers surveyed were interested in employment in the skilled trades. However, 73% felt they would need extra support or training to join the skilled trades workforce.

The report reviews barriers faced by newcomers when interested in entering the industry, including language barriers, lack of certification equivalency, lack of Canadian work experience and references, and a lack of connection to employers. While support programs exist for jobseekers, employers are often unaware of the programs and therefore are unable to tap into interested candidates.

Recommendations for employers include: support language training courses with industry specific terminology, connect with employment and community support organizations that serve newcomers, and ensure the workplace is inclusive and supportive of new candidates with different backgrounds and experiences. Recommendations for jobseekers include: participate in trades exposure programs, attend in-person job fairs to connect with employers, and create network connections with those that work in the field and can provide referrals to employers.

This report was funded by the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training, and Skills Development.



“With such a consistent skills shortage for skilled trades employers in our area, we need to do a better job of identifying those with experience or interest in the positions, and newcomers fit that position well. As newcomers come to our community seeking employment, we have a responsibility to support them in gaining opportunities in our most in-demand positions.”

  • Tashlyn Teskey, Manager of Research Projects, Workforce WindsorEssex


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Media Contact:
Tashlyn Teskey
Manager of Research Projects
Workforce WindsorEssex


About Workforce WindsorEssex

Workforce WindsorEssex is a workforce and community development board whose mission is to lead regional employment and community planning for the development of a strong and sustainable workforce.

Workforce WindsorEssex is an experienced leader in the development of regional labour market tools, research, guides, and events that create positive change in the local labour market while saving others time and effort. These resources, created in close coordination with employment, education, and industry partners, are designed to help jobseekers, employers, students, and educators, as well as the community, make more informed labour market decisions using locally-responsive, data-rich, and unbiased resources. To learn more about Workforce WindsorEssex and view our tools and resources, visit


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