Ontario Advances New College Of Trades

    McGuinty Government Taking Action On Skilled Trades, Apprenticeship

    TORONTO, Sept. 16 /CNW/ -


    Ontario is taking steps to promote the skilled trades and modernize the
apprenticeship system by establishing a new College of Trades.
    The government intends to introduce legislation in spring 2009 that, if
passed, would implement the College.
    The arms-length College of Trades would promote careers in skilled trades
while ensuring Ontario's skilled trades system meets the growing needs of the
economy. It would put skilled trades on a similar footing with teachers,
doctors and nurses, who have their own professional colleges.
    Ontario Labour Relations Board Chair Kevin Whitaker has been appointed
Implementation Advisor, responsible for developing the College's governance
structure, scope and mandate. His work will inform the drafting of the


    "A College of Trades is a balanced approach that embraces the diversity
of our skilled trades, both traditional and emerging, as well as the needs of
employers, employees, apprentices, labour, the public and the economy," said
Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities John Milloy

    "A strong Ontario depends on skilled trades. We are working to establish
a new College of Trades to promote involvement and careers in the skilled
trades," said Hamilton Mountain MPP Sophia Aggelonitis.


    -   A proposed Ontario College of Trades is one of the key
        recommendations of the Compulsory Certification Review
        (http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/ccr/index.html) (Armstrong Report)
         released May 22, 2008.

    -   There are over 150 apprenticeable trades in Ontario covering the
        construction, industrial/manufacturing, motive power and service

    -   Approximately 110,000 apprentices are currently learning a trade.

    -   Apprenticeships in the skilled trades have grown by more than
        25 per cent over the past four years.


    Read the Compulsory Certification Review (Armstrong Report)

    Learn more about Ontario's apprenticeship and certification system

                                                      Disponible en français


    A strong and modern skilled trades sector is vital to Ontario's economic
well-being. The government is taking steps to promote the skilled trades as a
career choice and modernize the apprenticeship system.
    The creation of a new College of Trades was one of the key
recommendations of the Compulsory Certification Review
(http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/ccr/index.html.) (Armstrong Report), released in
May 2008. The proposed College would help ensure Ontario's skilled trades
sector can meet the growing needs of the economy.
    The government intends to introduce legislation in spring 2009 to
establish the College of Trades.

    Implementation Advisor

    Kevin Whitaker, chair of the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB), has
been appointed to develop the College's governance structure, scope and
mandate. Mr. Whitaker's work will address a number of issues that affect the
skilled trades sector, including compulsory certification, apprenticeship
ratios and enforcement functions.

    -   Biography

        Mr. Whitaker served as an advisor to the Minister of Training,
        Colleges and Universities on a Review of the Colleges Collective
        Bargaining Act
        in 2007.

        He is a lawyer and labour law specialist who has practised in a large
        national law firm and was a founding and managing partner of his own
        firm, Ryder Whitaker Wright and Chapman from 1989 to 1995. He also
        served as counsel to the Worker's Compensation Appeals Tribunal and
        as a senior legal policy advisor at the former Ministry of Consumer
        and Commercial Relations. In May 1995, Mr. Whitaker was appointed
        vice-chair of the OLRB. He has worked as a labour arbitrator and
        mediator in both rights and interest matters in all sectors and was
        named chair of the OLRB in 2001. Since 2005, he has chaired the
        College Relations Commission and the Education Relations Commission,
        through the OLRB. Mr. Whitaker was appointed to the Minister's List
        of Arbitrators in Ontario and is a former executive member of the
        Ontario Labour Management Arbitrators Association. He has written and
        lectured widely on labour relations issues and is past editor of the
        Labour Arbitration Yearbook.

    -   Mandate

        Mr. Whitaker will consult broadly with stakeholders to make
        recommendations on the governance structure, scope and mandate of the
        College of Trades, and will provide a detailed implementation plan.

        He will consider the College's role, responsibilities and powers, and
        advise how to establish its arms-length relationship with government.
        The College's internal organizational structure would recognize
        Ontario's four apprenticeable trades' sectors: construction,
        industrial/manufacturing, motive power and service.

        Mr. Whitaker will develop a detailed work plan in consultation with
        an inter-ministry committee that includes representatives from the
        Ministries of Training, Colleges and Universities; Labour, Small
        Business and Consumer Services, Education, Transportation,
        Citizenship and Immigration and other affected ministries.

    Expanding Apprenticeships

    The 2008 Ontario Budget
(http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/english/budget/ontariobudgets/2008) committed
$560 million over three years to New Skills for New Careers. That includes
$245 million to expand skills training centres and to buy state-of-the-art
training equipment to achieve the government's goal of increasing
registrations to 32,500 annually over the next three years.
    This investment supports projects and programs such as:

    -   Apprenticeship Enhancement Fund

        $40 million over three years for new equipment for training centres -
        $10 million this year, $15 million in each of years two and three.

    -   Ontario Skills Training Enhancement Program

        $15 million over three years to help training centres modernize
        equipment, build and update facilities and train more workers.
        Training centres include union training centres, employer training
        centres, and union-partnered training centres.

    -   Apprenticeship Expansion

        $75 million over three years - $12.5 million this year, increasing to
        $50 million in year three, to expand the apprenticeship system and
        increase registrations and completion rates through:

        -  Expanding Co-op diploma: $6 million allocated to colleges for seat
        -  Expanding Pre-apprenticeship: Approval of new proposals in
        -  Increasing Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program participation:
           Additional $2 million to school boards
        -  Enhanced Apprenticeship per diem: two per cent increase effective
           April 1, 2008
        -  Support for apprentices with disabilities: up to $1.8 million to
           colleges to accommodate apprentices with disabilities.

                                                      Disponible en français

For further information:

For further information: Annette Phillips, Minister's Office, (416)
326-5748; Greg Flood, 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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