HPAC Magazine

Ontario appoints skilled trades panel to advise on training and certification

The five-member panel will provide advice and recommendations on developing a new approach to training and certification as a replacement of the Ontario College of Trades.

October 9, 2020   By HPAC Magazine

The Ontario government is investing an additional $75 million over the next two years to help apprentices cover living expenses during their in-class training time and is also appointing a five-member Skilled Trades Panel to provide advice and recommendations on developing a new approach to training and certification as a replacement of the Ontario College of Trades.

This $75-million investment includes:

  • The Grant for Apprentice Learning, a $5.8 million commitment to support those ineligible for employment insurance (EI) while attending in-class training, including a boost of $1.3 million this year and next year.
  • The Apprentice Development Benefit, a $24 million commitment to increase the maximum benefit rates for EI-eligible apprentices attending full-time in-class training, including a boost of $4 million this year and next year.
  • The In-Class Enhancement Fund, a $211.9 million commitment to support training providers so they can deliver higher quality training, including a boost of $11.8 million this year and $22.3 million next year.
  • The Apprenticeship Capital Grant, a $24 million commitment to training providers to upgrade their facilities with state-of-the-art and modern equipment, including an additional $10 million next year.
  • $5.1 million for training delivery agents, and an additional $500,000 for pre-apprenticeship training service providers, to assist them with implementing COVID-19 health and safety measures during the pandemic (e.g. purchase personal protective equipment, cleaning products and digital supports).
  • $4.7 million as part of a multi-year $19.4 million investment in the development of a client-facing digital system to support the skilled trades and apprenticeship system in Ontario. The portal will provide skilled trades and apprenticeship clients with secure and convenient access to online information and services and will bring Ontario in line with digital delivery channels in other provinces.
  • $2.5 million this year and $7.5 million next year to launch the new non-repayable Tools Grant.

Ontario has appointed five members to the new Skilled Trades Panel for a nine-month term to provide advice and recommendations on a new approach to providing services, including compliance with compulsory training and certification requirements.

The panel will also provide guidance on the criteria and process used to make decisions on the classification and training for the trades.

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Chair of the new Skilled Trades Panel is Michael Sherrard, founding member of Sherrard Kuzz LLP. “This is an important opportunity to modernize, streamline and strengthen the skilled trades system in our province,” said Sherrard. “With my colleagues on the panel, I look forward to listening to interested stakeholders and contributing to a solution that serves apprentices, journey-people and anyone who may consider a career in the skilled trades.”

Other members of the panel include: Jason Ottey, director of government relations and communications for Laborers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA) Local 183; Shaun Scott, director of organizational development with Linamar; Melanie Winter, regional human resources director with Cascades for Western and Central Canada; and Melissa Young, executive director of the National Electrical Trade Council.