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Province proposing overhaul of trades apprenticeship system

Proposed legislation would make skilled trades training more efficient and accessible

The provincial government has introduced legislation that, if passed, would overhaul the trades apprenticeship system in Ontario.

On May 6, the province announced Skilled Trades Ontario, a new Crown agency that would replace the existing Ontario College of Trades.

The intention, according to the province, is to make the apprenticeship system more efficient, accessible, and easier to navigate.

Under the proposed new system, Skilled Trades Ontario would become a research hub for establishing apprenticeship training and curriculum standards.

It would also become a one-stop shop for apprentice registration, the issuance of certificates and renewals, and conducting equivalency assessments. Many services will be offered digitally.

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That differs from the current setup, which splits these responsibilities between the Ontario College of Trades and the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development.

The change comes as a result of a recommendation from the Skilled Trades Panel, which was established in September.

A report from the first stage of consultation is available here.

The panel is now in the consultation phase of part two of its mandate, which will focus on classification and training in the trades.

You can participate in the consultation by visiting here.