Ontario Helping More Students Enter the Skilled Trades Faster
March 10, 2023 | By Logan Caswell
Grade 11 students can soon apprentice full-time and still earn their high-school diploma.
The Ontario government is preparing young people for in-demand and well-paying careers by allowing students in grade 11 to transition to a full-time, skilled trades apprenticeship program.
Upon receiving their Certificate of Apprenticeship, these young workers can apply for their Ontario Secondary School Diploma as mature students. At a time when the province continues to face labour shortages, this change means that more students will be able to enter the trades faster than before in Ontario.
In the construction sector alone, 72,000 new workers are needed by 2027 to fill open positions because of retirements and expected job growth. To help deliver the province’s infrastructure plans, including building 1.5 million homes by 2031, more people are needed in the skilled trades.
Additionally, the government will begin consultations in fall 2023 with employers, unions, education stakeholders, trainers, parents, and others about ways to make it even easier for young people to enter a career in the trades. This includes the potential of lowering entry requirements for some of the 106 skilled trades that currently require a grade 12-level education.
Recently, there were nearly 285,000 jobs in Ontario going unfilled, while about one in five job openings in Ontario are projected to be in the skilled trades by 2026.