SARNIA, ONT. -- Minister of Labour, Trades and Skills Development Monte McNaughton has announced more than $926,000 in funding for skilled trades training at Lambton College.

The money will help the faculty educate 380 students in apprenticeship programs.

“We need to change the way we look at trades,” McNaughton told those attending.

The money will go toward six programs at the college that focus on: general carpentry, steamfitting, welding, instrumentation and control technicians, and boilermakers.

The boilermaker program was highlighted by the government as it is newly approved at Lambton.

The announcement featured about 25 students in the the program, all of which were male.

When questioned by CTV News about the government’s plans to further encourage more women and minorities to enter the field, McNaughton stated the crisis in filing the skilled labour gap has willingly forced his hand to act.

Citing a new online campaign, he stated government videos highlight women, with the goal of encouraging more to enter the skilled labour force.

With nearly 100,000 skilled trade labours set to retire over the next 10 years, there is a significant push by industry and government to attract new workers.

High wages, in all sectors, are a major driver.