Skilled Trades Ontario to offer certificates, wallet cards

by | Jul 25, 2023 | 0 comments

This summer, Skilled Trades Ontario will begin issuing over 17,500 certificates of qualification and more than 200,000 wallet cards to apprentices and certified skilled trades workers across the province.  

“This is an exciting milestone for thousands of skilled trades professionals,” said Melissa Young, CEO and Registrar, Skilled Trades Ontario. “Not only do certificates of qualification and wallet cards serve to validate credentials, they are a testament to the hard work, resilience and unwavering dedication behind every certified skilled trades professional. I look forward to seeing them proudly displayed on worksites and in businesses across the province.”  

Over the coming months, skilled trades professionals in compulsory and non-compulsory trades who received their certification after January 1, 2022, will begin receiving their certificates of qualification in the mail.  

A certificate of qualification is an official document that proves that a person is qualified to work in a particular skilled trade in Ontario. To obtain a certificate of qualification, individuals are required to have passed their certification exam and have met all requirements to practice their trade in Ontario.  

“Under the leadership of Premier Ford, our government has invested $1.5 billion in the skilled trades to make life-changing careers in the skilled trades more accessible to jobseekers and launched Skilled Trades Ontario to bring our province’s system into the 21st century,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “I was proud to reveal last month that these efforts have paid off as apprenticeship registrations have increased by 24 per cent. Today’s announcement is another step in our mission to make Ontario a national leader in the industry.”  

Beginning this fall, wallet cards will be issued to apprentices and certified compulsory and non-compulsory skilled trades professionals in the province. Wallet cards can be easily carried while working on the job, in the event they are requested by inspectors or clients. 

“The flow of skilled people into our business is critical given the link to innovation and efficiency that are so essential to our global competitiveness,” said Linda Hasenfratz, Executive Chairman and CEO, Linamar Corporation. “That is why we are heavily invested in developing a generation of young people in skilled trades. I am thrilled to see our skilled tradespeople getting the recognition they so richly deserve for the critical work they do and essential role they play in our business.”  

“It’s an honour to be one of the first recipients of the Skilled Trades Ontario certificate of qualification,” said Matthew Culbert, General Machinist, Linamar Corporation. “After years of hard work and perseverance, I am proud to be able to hang this on my wall.” 

“I’m proud to accept this refreshed certificate of qualification with my Red Seal endorsement, and I look forward to proudly displaying it in my classroom. I would like to thank Skilled Trades Ontario for their support in commemorating this special occasion,” said Michelle Marie Brush-Jacklin, Hairstylist. 

Since launching last year, Skilled Trades Ontario has provided online verification of the status and license details of compulsory apprentices and journeypersons on its online public register. This service will continue to be publicly available and updated.  

Certificates of qualification issued prior to January 1, 2022, will continue to be valid and recognized by Skilled Trades Ontario.   

Quick Facts  

  • Over the coming months, Skilled Trades Ontario will begin issuing new certificates of qualification to over 17,500 newly certified skilled trades professionals.  
  • This fall, the agency also plans to release wallet cards to more than 200,000 apprentices and skilled trades professionals. 
  • Certificates of qualification and wallet cards prove that a person is qualified to work in a particular skilled trade in Ontario.  
  • The public register also confirms that a compulsory skilled trades professional or apprentice can legally work in a compulsory trade. This service has been fully operational since Skilled Trades Ontario launched last year.  
  • Certificates of qualification issued by the previous administration prior to January 1, 2022, will continue to be valid and recognized by Skilled Trades Ontario. 

Additional Quotes 

“The Ontario General Contractors Association (OGCA) applauds Skilled Trades Ontario for their continued efforts to elevate all skilled trades to the level of respect that they truly deserve. Nothing in Ontario is created without the skills, drive and dedication of those in the trades and being part of the construction sector is a very rewarding career.”
– Giovanni Cautillo, President, Ontario General Contractors Association 

“When an apprentice completes their journey over 3 to 5 plus years, to gain the necessary experience and skills to develop into a journeyperson for their trade, the certificate of qualification is a significant achievement and one that signals to the holder that they are in fact a skilled trade professional. It also allows for the general public to know with confidence that the holder of the Certificate of Qualification has completed a significant journey to gain the skills and abilities to be the Skilled Trade Professional they can trust.”
– Adam Melnick, Director of Canadian Affairs, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers  

“Ontario needs more skilled trades and construction workers to build our growing province. RCCAO commends the Government of Ontario, Minister McNaughton, and Skilled Trades Ontario for continuing their focus on addressing the labour shortage to ensure industry has the necessary workforce to build critical infrastructure for all Ontarians.”
– Nadia Todorova, Executive Director, Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario 

“Being a certified tradesperson is a point of pride for our members and just like any trained professional, their credentials distinguish them as experts in their field. CLAC and its members appreciate this initiative of Skilled Trades Ontario to issue wallet cards and feel it demonstrates that STO is listening to front-line workers who have been asking for this easy-to-use demonstration of their journeyperson status.”
– Ian DeWaard, Provincial Director, Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC), Ontario Director  

“Ontario Professional Hairstylist Association is a proud supporter of the wallet identification and wall certifications from Skilled Trades Ontario. Clients deserve to know they are in trained, certified hands, and accomplished trades people have earned that recognition.”
– Tanya Hill, President, OPHA 

“UA Local 787 HVAC&R Workers of Ontario applauds the Ford Government and the Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development Monte McNaughton for all they are doing for the Skilled Trades. After years of being looked down on, the Skilled Trades and the apprenticeship system are now becoming the career path of choice.”
– Andrew Tarr, Business Manager, UA Local 787 

“Certificates of Qualification (CofQ) are a great source of pride for construction workers across every single trade. They are a culmination of thousands of hours of on-the-job training along with classroom instruction reflecting the credentials earned by those workers. The issuing of CofQs and wallet cards helps purchasers of construction services know that they are hiring highly-trained, skilled trades professionals ready to build and maintain the infrastructure that we depend on.”
 Marc Arsenault, Business Manager, Provincial Building & Construction Trades Council of Ontario 

“Skilled Trades in Ontario continue to shine, and today’s announcement is another great example. Wallet cards are a meaningful best practice that illustrates STO engagement on the skilled trades and apprenticeship file. In their short history, STO has emerged as a one-stop-shop for registration, regulation, and certified journeypersons in Ontario.”
 Andrew Pariser, Vice President, RESCON 

“Skilled Trades workers spend years of hard work to achieve certification and our member companies invest time and energy into training. Skilled Trades Ontario issuing copies of their certification is a step towards improving the perception of the trades and ensuring the skilled trades finally has the same status as other professional designations.” 
 Stephen Hamilton, Director of Public Affairs, Ontario at PCA 

“The International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 793, represents more than 18,500 skilled heavy equipment and crane operators in the province of Ontario and the Territory of Nunavut who are working in the construction and mining industries. We applaud today’s announcement by the Ontario Government for recognition of the accomplishments of skilled trades like ours in successfully completed apprenticeship training and certification.” 
 Mike Gallagher, Business Manager, IUOE Local 793 

About Skilled Trades Ontario
Skilled Trades Ontario is an agency of the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development responsible for apprenticeship and skilled trades certification in Ontario. Skilled Trades Ontario is dedicated to simplifying access to services for skilled trades professionals, promoting the skilled trades as a career of choice and addressing the labour shortage in the skilled trades, in partnership with government and industry.


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