Toronto, ON — Supporting the apprenticeship and certification model, promoting the skilled trades, facilitating research in the skilled trades, and building an inclusive skilled trades sector are the four pillars that Skilled Trades Ontario will be working on over the next three years.
The strategic plan was announced at the government agency’s first Industry Summit on Apprenticeship, which was held at the Toronto Congress Centre on May 3 during the Skills Ontario Competition. The framework was shared with over 250 industry leaders, educators, and apprentices.
“The labour shortage is a critical challenge for Ontario – and it is more pressing now than ever before. With one in five jobs predicted to be in the skilled trades by 2026, we need to take action to attract and inspire the next generation of skilled trades professionals,” explains Melissa Young, CEO/registrar of Skilled Trades Ontario. “Our strategic plan will provide a clear roadmap for driving growth in the sector and positioning Ontario as a leader in apprenticeship.”
As part of Skilled Trades Ontario’s strategic plan, the agency shared that it is aiming to simplify the apprenticeship process and hopes to support both prospective apprentices along with employers. In addition, data will be collected in the future to help make policy decisions related to the skilled trades sector.
The event also featured comments from industry leaders such as Monte McNaughton, Ontario’s minister of labour, immigration training and skills development, Deepak Anand, parliamentary assistant to the minister of labour, immigration, training and skills development, Michael Sherrard, board chair of Skilled Trades Ontario, Charmaine Williams, associate minister of women’s social and economic opportunity, and Dan Mills, New Brunswick’s deputy minister of post-secondary education, training and labour.
Guests of the summit also provided feedback on the strategic plan by asking questions and participating in workshops. The workshops included guests forming groups and answering questions while a facilitator took notes.