Ontario’s Labour Minister has launched a new Crown agency aimed at helping more people find careers in skilled trades.
The new agency, called “Skilled Trades Ontario,” will promote and market the trades, and develop the latest training and curriculum standards.
“We’re redrawing the system to address Ontario’s labour shortage and make the trades a career of choice for more people,” Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development told CityNews
“The skilled trades provide well-paying and rewarding careers that are vital for our economy. By creating this new agency, we are working for workers and delivering the generational change that labour leaders and employers have been calling for.”
Ontario currently faces a skilled labour shortage estimated at 350,000 workers by 2025. Data suggests that the need to replace retiring workers is greater for trades workers than for other occupations.
In 2016, nearly one in three journey persons in Ontario were aged 55 years or older.
The government contends the new agency’s online services will help apprentices better manage their careers with an online portal for scheduling classes and exams, submitting forms, and paying fees.
An independent Board of Directors will lead the new agency.