January 25, 2022
Ontario has officially launched Skilled Trades Ontario to replace Ontario College of Trades. The new crown agency to oversee skills training and services will aim to market the trades, develop the training and curriculum standards, and provide a user-friendly experience for tradespeople.
The new online services will help apprentices conveniently manage their careers in one place with an online one-stop-shop for scheduling classes and exams, submitting forms, paying fees and more.
An independent Board of Directors will lead the agency in delivering on the government’s Skilled Trades Strategy to break the stigma surrounding the trades, simplify the system, and encourage employers to hire more apprentices.
“The creation of Skilled Trades Ontario is an important milestone, and one I am thrilled to be a part of leading,” said Michael Sherrard, Chair of Skilled Trades Ontario. “The implementation of a successful apprenticeship and skilled trades system is critical to the economic growth and success of our province, and today’s announcement is the next step in securing that future for us all.”
“The skilled trades are the backbone of our province – offering 144 well-paying and in-demand careers for people to choose from,” said Chief Executive Officer and Registrar Melissa Young. “I commend this government for bringing generational change that will remove the stigma surrounding the trades, cut down on red tape, and ensure all young people know these jobs offer a clear path to a better life.”
Patrick McManus, Chair of the Ontario Skilled Trades Alliance commented: “We’re optimistic that Skilled Trades Ontario is up to the challenge of building a skilled trades and apprenticeship system that’s more modern, streamlined and flexible; a system that encourages employer participation, focuses on narrowing the skills gap and showing more high school graduates and job seekers why the skilled trades are such a worthwhile career of choice.”
James Barry of IBEW added that, “We look forward to working with both the CEO and the Board on the important work of strengthening Ontario’s trades training system.”