Canadian Apprenticeship Forum appoints IUOE rep as new board chair

Ontario Construction News staff writer

The Canadian Apprenticeship Forum (CAF) says Lionel Railton has been appointed as chair of its Board of Directors.

“We are incredibly fortunate to secure the leadership of someone with more than 40 years of on-the-ground experience in the skilled trades,” CAF executive director France Daviault said in a statement. “Having served his union in many capacities, Lionel has a full understanding of the strengths and opportunities that exist and how apprenticeship can play a key role in fuelling Canada’s economic growth.”

A third-generation member of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), “Lionel is a respected union representative with a depth of knowledge in executive board and financial management,” the statement says. In his current role as Canadian Director, Railton is responsible for the oversight and support of the 17 Canadian Local Unions of the IUOE serving 55,000 Canadian members employed in the construction, road building, mining, industrial, healthcare, education, building maintenance and related sectors.

“I am sincerely grateful and look forward to continuing the outstanding work the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum has done for the skilled trades community over the last twenty years.,” Railton said in the statement.

“Government agendas around apprenticeship are continually expanding and CAF-FCA is well-positioned as the national voice through its research, discussion and collaboration with stakeholders across the country. I look forward to working with my board colleagues this fall to develop a new strategic plan which will guide CAF activities for the next three years. The collective passion and commitment to apprenticeship training among our members, Board of Directors and staff will continue to be the motivating factor for our work on behalf of the national apprenticeship community.”

The following directors were elected for four year-terms at the 2020 CAF Board Elections Oct. 21:

  • Jurisdiction – J’Amey Bevan, Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training
  • Labour – Cordell Cole, IBEW
  • Equity – Joann Greeley, Office to Advance Women Apprentices
  • Employer – Rebecca Kragnes, Bird Construction
  • Education – Frank Rossi, College of New Caledonia

The CAF has 17 volunteer Directors drawn from all corners of Canada’s apprenticeship community. “Their expertise provides strategic direction, allowing staff to provide stakeholders with the resources they need to inform policies and programs that contribute to Canada’s world-class apprenticeship system,” the statement says.


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