Toronto, ON — High school students in Ontario will now be required to take a mandatory technological education class in order to earn their diploma, according to the ministry of education.
The provincial government said the technological education course, which would be mandatory beginning in September 2024, would cover a wide range of sectors, including construction, transportation, manufacturing, computer, technology, hospitality, and communication.
“We are opening up doors and creating new pathways to good jobs in STEM and the skilled trades. All students will benefit from a greater emphasis on hands-on learning experience and technical skills in the classroom so they can graduate with a competitive advantage,” said Stephen Lecce, minister of education.
The government reports that Ontario currently has 100,000 unfilled skilled trade jobs. With the new mandated course being introduced in Grade 9 or 10.
In 2020–21, the province said 39 per cent of all Ontario high school students were enrolled in the technological education program. However, 63 per cent of those enrolled were male students.
The Ford government also indicated the change is designed to incentivize more female students to consider jobs in the skilled trades.