Georgian College is offering a new program to help fill the more than 200 manufacturing jobs available in Midland.

“There’s a real need for skilled trades workers in Ontario, and Georgian is committed to providing that talent pipeline of skilled trades to our local manufacturers,” Georgian College Associate Dean Mac Greaves said.

Accepted students receive a free education paid for by the provincial government.

The 32-week pre-apprenticeship program splits students between time in the classroom and hands-on training.

Greaves says the program has an 85 percent hiring success rate. “They tell us what their needs are, and we customize the program so that we can give them trained individuals that can start on the shop floor, and be ready for an apprenticeship.”

With the need for construction trades growing, the program is expanding to the Bracebridge campus.

The deadline for applications is April 30.