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Ontario creates new crown agency to address labour shortage in the trades


January 25, 2022
By Rock to Road staff

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Skilled Trades Ontario, a new Crown agency, is designed to improve trades training and simplify services.

The new agency will promote and market the trades, develop the latest training and curriculum standards and provide a streamlined user-friendly experience for tradespeople.

“We’re redrawing the system to address Ontario’s labour shortage and make the trades a career of choice for more people,” said Monte McNaughton, Ontario’s Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development.

“The skilled trades provide well-paying and rewarding careers that are vital for our economy. By creating this new agency, we are working for workers and delivering the generational change that labour leaders and employers have been calling for.”

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The online service will help apprentices manage their careers in one place with an “one-stop-shop” for scheduling classes and exams, submitting forms and paying fees.

Ontario to see 350,000 open positions by 2025

Ontario is expected to see a skilled labour shortage of 350,000 people by 2025. The previous system had prospective tradespeople mailing documents to offices for one service, calling in for a second and appearing in person for a third. This was confusing and prevented many apprentices from pursuing their interests.

The new agency expects to reduce processing and registration times for applicants from 60 days to 12.

“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.”

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 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.”