Ontario has unveiled a new Apprenticeship Strategy it says will build on current strengths to ensure the system meets the challenges of a economy.
A key initiative is to provide improved incentives to employers, though it is unclear whether this will be an enhancement of the relatively new Graduated Apprenticeship Grant for Employers, whose introduction in late 2017 was accompanying with the promise an improved apprenticeship strategy.
While the most recent announcement was short on details, the multi-year strategy announced in early February will:
- Create better incentives for employers to train and retain apprentices by transforming the existing Apprenticeship Training Tax Credit into the Graduated Apprenticeship Grant for Employers. It was unclear if this is the
- Promote apprenticeship as a valuable postsecondary pathway and help individuals make informed decisions about their career options by providing valuable information about different careers leading from an apprenticeship through Ontario’s labour market website
- Update the apprenticeship system through digital enhancements, including a simplified online registration process
- Develop recommendations on how to ensure students in the K-12 system are prepared for, exposed to and aware of career opportunities in the skilled trades
- Enhance services that support apprentices to begin and complete their training, including increasing the participation of young people and underrepresented groups in the skilled trades.
” Completing an apprenticeship can set you up for a great future. Ontario’s apprentices deserve a system that opens opportunities, connects them with good jobs and helps them gain the skills needed to succeed in the workforce,” said Mitzie Hunter Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development. “That’s why we’re launching Ontario’s Apprenticeship Strategy, a vision we share with our apprenticeship partners and the many people looking to learn new skills and start an exciting career in the trades.”
“Working in the skilled trades is an empowering, rewarding experience,” offered George Gritziotis, CEO and registrar of the Ontario College of Trades, “so we want to make sure every person who wants to become a tradesperson has the support to do so. This strategy is client-focused, and begins to move us towards a pathway that will increase the successful completions of apprenticeships. We’re happy to have been a partner in the strategy’s development, and will continue to work with government to ensure the apprenticeship system evolves to meet the needs of the changing labour market.”
The province already spends some 160 million a year on apprenticeship programs, with nearly 130 million in addition being provided to employers in terms Apprenticeship Tax Credits.
The province reports that apprenticeship registrations have grown form 17,100 in 2002-03 to 24,800 in 2016-17. Approximately 9,800 Certificates of Apprenticeship are issued annually.