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Ontario to Improve Skilled Trades System

Archived News Release

Ontario to Improve Skilled Trades System

McGuinty Government Modernizing Apprenticeship Through Proposed College Of Trades

Ministry of Colleges and Universities

Ontario is taking steps to establish the Ontario College of Trades, a regulatory college that would help modernize the province's apprenticeship and skilled trades system.

Legislation to be introduced today, if passed, would establish this regulatory college.  Along with regulating its members, the College would encourage more people to work in the trades and help the system better serve employers, skilled tradespeople, apprentices and consumers.  

The College of Trades would give industry a greater role in recruitment, governance, certification and apprenticeship training, building on the significant role skilled trades already play in Ontario's prosperity.

Establishing the College would put skilled trades on a similar footing with teachers, doctors and nurses, who have their own professional regulatory colleges, such as the Ontario College of Teachers.

Quick Facts

  • More than 150 apprenticeable trades in Ontario cover the construction, industrial/manufacturing, motive power and service sectors.
  • Approximately 120,000 Ontario apprentices are currently learning a trade.
  • Encouraging people toward careers in the skilled trades is a significant priority for Ontarians.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“The skilled trades are crucial to Ontario’s future. Governing them through an independent professional college – an approach unique to Ontario – would fully recognize the sector’s expertise.”

John Milloy

Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities

“Establishing an Ontario College of Trades to set training standards would help build a healthier, safer and more prosperous Ontario workforce.”

Peter Fonseca

Minister of Labour

“Giving industry a key role in governing the trades, from promotion to regulation, is vital to strengthening Ontario’s apprenticeship and skilled trades system.”

Kevin Whitaker

Implementation Advisor and Ontario Labour Relations Board Chair



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