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April 29, 2019

Durham College, OPG and the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers partner together on pre-apprenticeship program



OSHAWA, ONApril 29, 2019 /CNW/ – Durham College (DC), Ontario Power Generation (OPG), and the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers (IBB) are pleased to announce they have joined together to offer a three-week pre-apprenticeship program, providing essential boilermaker industry training.

Managed and delivered through DC’s Corporate Training Services (CTS), the pre-apprenticeship serves as an introduction to the boilermaker trade and provincial apprenticeship program. Its inaugural session begins on Monday, April 29, with four additional intakes scheduled throughout the summer which will train 100 new pre-apprentices.

The training program was created to help address the projected skilled trades’ shortage of boilermakers in Ontario. OPG, Bruce Power, and the Electrical Power Systems Construction Association (EPSCA) have been working on a province wide plan to mitigate the resourcing risks for contractors and owners, ensuring sufficient capacity exists to execute the volume and complexity of work at all the utilities, safely and on budget. Successful applicants will be referred for work at OPG sites, training with senior staff and learning their craft in the nuclear industry.  The program is also being supported by the Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries (OCNI).

“When we originally approached Durham College with the idea of partnering on pre-apprenticeship training, we thought of this program as a type of probationary apprenticeship,” said Jonathan White, International Rep, IBB. “It is our full expectation that all successful students will be welcomed into a paid boilermaker apprenticeship upon completion.”

“The college is pleased to play a role in helping to develop the next generation of boilermakers,” said Tara Brodie, Director, Corporate Training Services, Durham College. “This new approach to apprenticeship training comes at a time when there is incredibly high demand in the industry for skilled professionals with applicable knowledge and hands-on experience. CTS’s track record of providing custom training solutions, coupled with the college’s history of excellence providing first-hand learning opportunities for skilled trades, means we are perfectly positioned to address the skilled trades gap the boilermaker industry is currently facing.”

No one understands these challenges better than OPG. Canada’s largest infrastructure and clean energy project taking place at its Darlington Nuclear Generating Station and refurbishment work is being done at the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station. A 2018 report from Ontario’s Auditor General indicates that approximately 1,000 boilermakers are needed to complete these nuclear refurbishment activities.

“With OPG’s ongoing Darlington Refurbishment Project, the nuclear industry in Canada faces a looming supply gap in skilled trades and professionals,” said Dietmar Reiner, Senior Vice-President and Chief Project Officer for OPG. “This program will not only help create the next generation of skilled trades, it will also help secure Ontario’s electricity supply for many years to come.”

“OCNI is pleased to participate this important program which is a natural extension of the work that OCNI has been doing over that last year through Ontario’s Skills Catalyst Fund to attract and place young people and under-represented groups into skilled trades positions across the nuclear supply chain” said Ron Oberth, president and CEO, OCNI.

“The Durham College boilermaker pre-apprenticeship program is a true partnership between the labour market partners.  Congratulations to OPG and the boilermakers union for taking a cooperative approach in recruiting the next generation of skilled trades people,” said Alex Lolua, General Manager, EPSCA.

Within the energy industry boilermakers build and maintain nuclear, hydroelectric and coal-fired generating stations, as well as oil-sands extraction plants, oil refineries, liquefied natural gas processing plants and other facilities. They also work in the mining, chemical, pulp and paper, cement and potash industries. The scope of a boilermaker’s work can include everything from specialty welding to hoisting, positioning and installing huge components of massive industrial plants, to project management and co-ordination of workers in other trades.

Those interested in a future boilermaker apprenticeship opportunity can visit