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Supporting Skilled Trades in Ontario

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Supporting Skilled Trades in Ontario

Ontario Appoints Reviewer for the Ontario College of Trades

Ministry of Colleges and Universities

Ontario is appointing former Secretary of Cabinet and Head of the Ontario Public Service, Tony Dean, to review key areas of Ontario's skilled trades system that fall within the mandate of the Ontario College of Trades.

Mr. Dean will build on the College's success by reviewing issues related to the scopes of practice - or type of work performed in a trade, as well as the process for determining whether certification should be compulsory or voluntary to practice a trade. The trade classification review process will be paused during Mr. Dean's work. The College will continue to fulfill its mandate while this work is underway.

Mr. Dean will consult with stakeholders and receive support from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities and the College of Trades, but will function independently of both. The appointment begins in October 2014 and will continue for one calendar year. Mr. Dean will then deliver his report to the College of Trades and the ministry. The College will have the opportunity to review his findings and implement key recommendations.

Strengthening Ontario's apprenticeship system and supporting its skilled tradespeople is a key part of the government's economic plan for Ontario. The four-part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people's talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives and building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire.

Quick Facts

  • More than 28,000 new apprentices registered in 2013-14, up from 17,100 registrations in 2002-03.
  • There are more than 150 apprenticeship trades in four sectors: construction, industrial/manufacturing, motive power and service.
  • The Ontario College of Trades is an independent, industry-driven governing body that protects consumers, and promotes and modernizes the skilled trades in Ontario.
  • Ontario is investing more than $165 million to support apprenticeships in 2014-15.
  • Before you hire, visit the Ontario College of Trades' Public Register to confirm the qualifications of professionals in compulsory trades, such as Electrician or Plumber.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“In just over a year, the Ontario College of Trades has already made significant progress, protecting consumers and giving skilled tradespeople decision-making power over issues that are important to them. By fulfilling our government’s commitment to support the continued success of the College by appointing a highly respected individual like former Secretary of Cabinet Tony Dean, we are once again demonstrating that we value the feedback of our skilled tradespeople and support fair, transparent and evidence-based review processes that will strengthen the skilled trades and consumer protection in this province.”

Reza Moridi

Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities

“The Ontario College of Trades has already changed the landscape for both consumers and tradespeople. For the first time in Ontario, we have enforcement officers dedicated to making sure individuals who, for example, work on your brakes or wire your home, have the required qualifications to do the job. The College has also updated curriculum for apprentices and modernized standards to promote professionalism. As a new organization, we have also identified opportunities to improve certain areas of our regulatory framework and Mr. Dean’s experience and expertise will be a great asset in helping us address them.”

Ron Johnson

Chair, Ontario College of Trades

“It is a privilege to be asked to take on this important independent review. I am looking forward to hearing from and talking to the organizations and individuals who have ideas and proposals on the areas encompassed by my terms of reference. I appreciate the opportunity to contribute to the ongoing development of the College of Trades’ mandate and its role in strengthening the apprenticeship system and skilled trades in Ontario.”

Tony Dean

Ontario College of Trades Reviewer

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