There is going to be less red tape for young people thinking of embarking on a career in skilled trades. The Ontario government is introducing new measures to help tradespeople get their certification from a single destination through a new Crown agency, Skilled Trades Ontario, that would replace the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT).
Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, introduced the Building Opportunities in the Skilled Trades Act, legislation designed to make the province’s skilled trades and apprenticeship system more efficient, accessible and easier to navigate.
Under the proposed legislation, Skilled Trades Ontario would become the province’s industry-informed training authority to lead the promotion, research and development of the latest apprenticeship training and curriculum standards. It will also provide a seamless one window experience for client services including apprentice registration, issuance of certificates and renewals, and conduct equivalency assessments all in one place with many services offered digitally.
“Skilled trades workers are the engine of our economy,” said Minister McNaughton. “Under the current system, responsibilities are shared between OCOT and the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, causing confusion and added burden for people wanting to pursue a career in the skilled trades, which leads to employers struggling to find qualified skilled trades workers. That is why our government is building a skilled trades system that attracts more people into well-paying and meaningful careers that are truly life-changing.”
The Ministry will provide system oversight and be responsible for regulatory decisions, financial supports and take on responsibility for compliance and enforcement of the skilled trades, building on existing expertise, best practices and a robust inspector network that is already in place across the province.
The move was welcomed by industry and labour leaders including Stephen Hamilton, Chair of the Ontario Skilled Trades Alliance (OSTA), Joseph S. Mancinelli, LiUNA International Vice President and Regional Manager of Central and Eastern Canada, Patrick J. Dillon Business Manager and Secretary Treasurer, Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario. Further reading.