Ontario lays groundwork for modernizing apprenticeship

by | Jun 2, 2021 | 0 comments

The Ontario Government’s ongoing bid to modernize the skilled trades and apprenticeship structure in the province made a big step forward with Building Opportunities in the Skilled Trades Act, 2021 passing third reading.

“Today, our government passed the third reading of the Building Opportunities in the Skilled Trades Act, 2021,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, “which will modernize the apprenticeship system and help workers gain in-demand skills to lift them up and energize our economy for years to come.”

The government, and many in industry, have long maintained that replacing the current apprenticeship system is long overdue.

“Now more than ever we see that skilled trades workers are at the centre of our economy, they build our hospitals and our homes; manufacture our cars and keep them running; grow our food and prepare it too,” said the MInister.

“To help more people take advantage of the great opportunities in the trades, we’re creating a system that is centred around both apprentices and employers.”

The act seeks to simplify and streamline the pathway for apprentices, particularly important at a time when many of those in the skilled trades are looking forward to retiring over the next few years and insufficient influx of younger candidates seeking to replace them.

“Our next step is the creation of a new Crown agency, Skilled Trades Ontario, to replace the Ontario College of Trades. The new agency will provide a seamless one-window experience for all services, including registration, issuance and renewal of certificates, and equivalency assessments, and will offer many services online.”

This point is generally considered good news as the College of Trades has often been cites as a barrier to apprentices and change.

“With the new agency focusing on services for apprentices, my ministry can focus on oversight and delivering the long-awaited generational change that our skilled trades system has needed for decades.”

In a related announcement, the Automotive Industries Association of Canada is seeking input on the anticipated changes as details of the the new apprenticeship structure are being finalized.

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