Scarborough needs skilled labour

An organization that seeks to promote economic growth in Scarborough is calling on Toronto Mayor John Tory to support the development of a training centre that would teach skilled trades to east end residents.

In a letter delivered to Tory on Monday, the Scarborough Community Renewal Organization says such a training centre would ensure that local residents would benefit from transit, hospital infrastructure and waterfront revitalization projects planned for Scarborough.

“It is important that Scarborough residents have the skills and training needed to seize the job opportunities that investment in infrastructure will bring,” the letter reads.

“Locating this institution in Scarborough will ensure the training is where the jobs will be, and that residents will not need to travel long distances to go to school. An East End Trades Training Centre will allow Scarborough to become a more complete community where residents can train, work, live and play.”

Jennifer McKelvie, immediate past president of SCRO, which has more than 100 members, said the idea emerged from a day-long summit on Saturday, attended by more than 100 people representing 18 community associations and students from the University of Toronto Scarborough.

This is something that we want the city to fund and champion and work in partnership with the province, local colleges, universities and trade unions to ensure that we have a facility for developing the skills in the trades that will be needed for our residents to work on all of the different infrastructure projects that will be happening in Scarborough,” she told CBC Toronto.

McKelvie said Scarborough does not have a centre of this kind focused on skilled trades, no specific location has been identified and the cost has not yet determined. She said it could be run by a college with help from some trade unions.

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