Ontario Construction News staff writer
The construction industry and Skills Ontario support the provincial government’s plan to spend $75 million to improve the skilled trade and apprenticeship system and to increase participation in the skilled trades.
Among the steps expected over the next two years to support tradespeople and apprentices, and the establishment of a panel of experts to advise on matters related to the skilled trades.
“Skills Ontario applauds Minister McNaughton for his commitment to strengthening and modernizing the system so that more Ontarians are aware of and have access to the amazing career opportunities in the skilled trades,” said Ian Howcroft, CEO of Skills Ontario.
“We are proud to play a key role in the promotion and encouragement of the skilled trades and technologies in order to build a strong future skilled workforce. We look forward to providing comments and input.”
Monte McNaughton, minister of labour, training and skills development emphasized the importance of supporting and prioritizing health and safety within the skilled trades and noted that the Ontario government intends on restoring the existing compulsory and non-compulsory trade classification.
“Ontario apprentices don’t earn wages and aren’t eligible for OSAP when they do their in-class training,” McNaughton said on Twitter. “That’s why we’re investing $29.8 million to help more than 10,000 apprentices pay for living expenses while in class.”
He also spoke about how the newly appointed five-person panel will work towards creating a successful new model for skilled tradespeople and apprentices.
“The apprenticeship system is outdated and overly complex. The announcement highlights my mission to continue getting more people into the trades and to deal with the skills gap in Ontario,” he said.
“Ultimately, what we’re talking about here is jobs. Good, meaningful jobs strengthen our families and they strengthen our communities right across Ontario,” said Minister McNaughton at today’s live announcement. “I look forward to continuing to work with all of you as we build Ontario up.”
Minister McNaughton also emphasized the importance of supporting and prioritizing health and safety within the skilled trades and noted that the Ontario government intends on restoring the existing compulsory and non-compulsory trade classification. He also spoke about how the newly appointed five-person panel will work towards creating a successful new model for skilled tradespeople and apprentices. The Government of Ontario issued more information on the investments in apprenticeship training, the new skilled trades panel, and stakeholder response to today’s announcement on their website.
“Minister McNaughton continues to exemplify collaborative and strategic leadership to build a stronger ON with a responsive apprenticeship model for the future, modernizing the skilled trades and optimizing career building opportunities for the men and women who build our province,” said Joe Mancinelli, international vice president at LiUNA.
“The Labourers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA) is proud to continue its advocacy of a responsive apprenticeship model for the future, modernization of the skilled trades and optimized career building opportunities.”