Bakers Journal

Ontario’s new measures aim to make it easier to enter skilled trades

May 1, 2024
By Bakers Journal

Brampton, Ont. – The Ontario government is introducing new policy and legislative measures to attract more young people to the skilled trades, including adding a new apprenticeship pathway and an online job matching platform.

These initiatives are designed to promote the skilled trades to youth and workers and help set them on a path to rewarding, well-paying careers as electricians, plumbers, carpenters and other skilled trades, the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development said in a news release.

To tackle the labour shortage, Minister David Piccini said, “We’re opening pathways into the skilled trades today for the workers of tomorrow by making it easier for Ontarians to find apprenticeship opportunities through a new online job-matching portal, and reducing barriers for more workers to get a second chance at a better job with a bigger paycheque.”

As the demand for skilled workers in the construction and manufacturing sector is set to grow significantly over the next decade, the government is taking action to ensure the province has the tradespeople needed to build Ontario.

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Building on the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP), Ontario is creating a new stream, called Focused Apprenticeship Skills Training (FAST), that will allow students in Grades 11 and 12 to participate in more apprenticeship learning through additional co-operative education credits while completing high school. Graduates would receive a new seal on their Ontario Secondary School Diploma to signify their successful completion of the program and recognize them for their dedication to learning in the skilled trades.

Ontario is creating a new stream, called Focused Apprenticeship Skills Training (FAST), that will allow students in Grades 11 and 12 to participate in more apprenticeship learning through additional co-operative education credits while completing high school.

“We are proud to announce the new Focused Apprenticeship Skills Training program that will now allow students to take up to 80 per cent of their senior courses in co-op education,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. “This will accelerate entrance into the skilled trades, supported by the mandatory requirement for all students to take at least one Technological Education course starting this September.”

The province also is launching an online job-matching portal for potential apprentices, journeypersons and employers to network and share opportunities, and streamline the process for potential apprentices to find interested sponsors, register and begin their training. Currently, Ontario does not have a dedicated provincial system to match potential apprentices with hiring employers or sponsors.

Additionally, Ontario is proposing legislative measures to reduce barriers to apprenticeship training for workers who have prior professional experience, but cannot meet certain academic entry requirements to register as an apprentice. This policy would create alternative pathways for people interested in the skilled trades as a second career if they meet alternative criteria that may include minimum years out of high school and history of prior work experiences.

These alterative criteria are expected to be set out by future regulations under the Building Opportunities in the Skilled Trades Act, 2021.


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