Toronto – Ontario is strengthening the industry-driven governing body responsible for promoting and modernizing skilled trades in the province.
The province, in partnership with the Ontario College of Trades, has accepted the recommendations made by former Secretary of Cabinet Tony Dean, in his report, Supporting a Strong and Sustainable Ontario College of Trades. Ontario will bring forward proposed legislative changes in the spring legislative session and will work closely with the College of Trades to implement Dean’s recommendations.
Dean’s recommendations would help improve the College’s processes and clarify its mandate by:
– Supporting the existing Trade Boards to update and bring consistency to all trades’ scopes of practice
– Reviewing how trades are classified through establishment of an independent and evidence-based process that will use risk of harm as a key criterion
– Establishing clearer and more concise criteria on how journeyperson-to-apprentice ratios are determined
– Developing an enforcement and compliance committee and appeal process to resolve potential conflicts earlier, as well as ensure enforcement activities are consistently carried out with safety and the public interest in mind.
The report follows a year-long review that included consultations with several hundred tradespeople, employers and industry and trade boards representing more than 70 trades.
The Ontario College of Trades officially opened for membership on April 8, 2013 and provides members with benefits such as recognition as a skilled-trades professional, enforcement of trade regulations, and a mechanism to ensure public safety through a discipline and complaints process.
There are 237,000 active members in the Ontario College of Trades in more than 150 apprenticeable trades, including the industrial, construction, motive power and service sectors.
Ontario is investing more than $176 million to support apprenticeships in 2015-2016.