Ontario To Improve Skilled Trades System



    
    McGuinty Government Modernizing Apprenticeship Through Proposed College
    Of Trades
    

    TORONTO, May 13 /CNW/ -

    NEWS

    Ontario is taking steps to establish the Ontario College of Trades, a
regulatory college that would help modernize the province's apprenticeship and
skilled trades system.
    Legislation to be introduced today, if passed, would establish this
regulatory college. Along with regulating its members, the College would
encourage more people to work in the trades and help the system better serve
employers, skilled tradespeople, apprentices and consumers.
    The College of Trades would give industry a greater role in recruitment,
governance, certification and apprenticeship training, building on the
significant role skilled trades already play in Ontario's prosperity.
    Establishing the College would put skilled trades on a similar footing
with teachers, doctors and nurses, who have their own professional regulatory
colleges, such as the Ontario College of Teachers.

    QUOTES

    "The skilled trades are crucial to Ontario's future. Governing them
through an independent professional college - an approach unique to Ontario -
would fully recognize the sector's expertise."
    - John Milloy
(http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/general/biography/tcu_minister.html), Minister
of Training, Colleges and Universities

    "Establishing an Ontario College of Trades to set training standards
would help build a healthier, safer and more prosperous Ontario workforce."
    - Peter Fonseca, Minister of Labour

    "Giving industry a key role in governing the trades, from promotion to
regulation, is vital to strengthening Ontario's apprenticeship and skilled
trades system."
    - Kevin Whitaker, Implementation Advisor and Ontario Labour Relations
Board Chair

    
    QUICK FACTS

    -   More than 150 apprenticeable trades in Ontario cover the
        construction, industrial/manufacturing, motive power and service
        sectors.
    -   Approximately 120,000 Ontario apprentices are currently learning a
        trade.
    -   Encouraging people toward careers in the skilled trades is a
        significant priority for Ontarians.

    LEARN MORE

    -   Learn more (http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/tcu/) about how Ontario is
helping apprentices and employers

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                                               ontario.ca/postsecondary-news
                                                      Disponible en français

                                                                BACKGROUNDER

                 Modernizing Ontario's Skilled Trades System
    

    A strong and modern skilled trades sector is vital to Ontario's economic
prosperity. The province will introduce legislation today that, if passed,
would create a College of Trades to promote careers in skilled trades and
modernize the apprenticeship and skilled trades system.

    Reviews and Consultations

    Creating a College of Trades was a key recommendation of the Compulsory
Certification Review (http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/ccr/index.html) (Armstrong
Report) released in May 2008. Following the release of this report, the
government announced it would introduce legislation to move forward on the
recommendation.
    Kevin Whitaker, Chair of the Ontario Labour Relations Board, was
appointed in September 2008 to advise on the college's governance structure,
scope and mandate. Whitaker made recommendations after consulting with
employers, skilled tradespeople and training providers.
    The recommendations in Mr. Whitaker's report
(www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/tcu/collegeoftrades/CollegeofTradesFinalReport_EN.pdf)
are reflected in the proposed legislation.

    Ontario College of Trades

    The proposed Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2009 takes
a balanced approach to governance that considers the needs of employers,
employees, apprentices, the economy and the public.

    
    The College would:

    -   Promote careers in the trades and attract more people to them,
        especially youth and underrepresented groups
    -   Help make it easier for internationally trained workers to get
        certified and find work in the trades in Ontario
    -   Set training and certification standards to serve the skilled trades
        sector and the public interest
    -   Conduct research to help make sure Ontario trains the right workers
        for the future
    -   Give the skilled trades sector ownership of critical decisions on
        issues such as compulsory certification and apprenticeship ratios.
    

    The College's membership would include certified journeypersons and
persons who employ them or who sponsor or employ apprentices.

    Supporting Apprenticeship

    The McGuinty government recognizes that encouraging apprenticeship and
skills training is essential to Ontario's future prosperity.
    The 2009 Ontario Budget invests $700 million over two years in new skills
training and literacy initiatives and increases to existing programs. These
measures are designed to respond quickly to the immediate challenges of the
global economic slowdown while preparing the province's workforce for the new
economy.
    Ontario's labour force growth is projected to decline over the coming
years as workers retire and fewer young people enter the workforce. To ensure
Ontario has the skilled workers it needs for the future, the government has
taken significant steps to support apprenticeship growth.
    Through the Apprenticeship Enhancement Fund and the Ontario Skills
Training Enhancement Program, the government is providing $55 million over
three years for infrastructure and equipment at community colleges and
training centres - so that apprentices and journeypersons can train in
state-of-the-art facilities.

    
    Initiatives to encourage apprenticeship participation include:

    -   Creating innovative programs to attract youth, women, Aboriginal
        persons, persons with disabilities to apprenticeship training
    -   Providing more ways for out-of-school youth to get the qualifications
        they need to begin apprenticeship training
    -   Encouraging employers to hire apprentices through the Apprenticeship
        Scholarship and Employer Signing Bonus and the Apprenticeship
        Training Tax Credit

    As a result of the government's investment in apprenticeship, there are
120,000 Ontario apprentices learning a trade today - nearly 60,000 more than
in 2003. New annual apprenticeship registrations have increased from 17,100 in
2003 to more than 28,000 in 2009.
    The proposed Ontario College of Trades would build on this success and
give the sector a more prominent role in recruitment, governance,
certification and training.

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                                               ontario.ca/postsecondary-news
                                                      Disponible en français
    





For further information:

For further information: Annette Phillips, Senior Advisor,
Communications Minister's Office, (416) 326-5748; Tanya Blazina,
Communications Branch, (416) 325-2746; Public Inquiries, (416) 325-2929 or
1-800-387-5514; TTY 1-800-263-2892

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Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities

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