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Ontario Accepts Recommendations to Strengthen the Ontario College of Trades

Archived News Release

Ontario Accepts Recommendations to Strengthen the Ontario College of Trades

Province Committed to Supporting Skilled Trades

Ministry of Colleges and Universities

Ontario is strengthening the industry-driven governing body responsible for promoting and modernizing skilled trades in the province.

The province, in partnership with the Ontario College of Trades, has accepted the recommendations made by former Secretary of Cabinet Tony Dean, in his report, Supporting a Strong and Sustainable Ontario College of TradesOntario will bring forward proposed legislative changes in the spring legislative session and will work closely with the College of Trades to implement Mr. Dean's recommendations.

 Mr. Dean's recommendations would help improve the College's processes and clarify its mandate by:  

  • Supporting the existing Trade Boards to update and bring consistency to all trades' scopes of practice
  • Reviewing how trades are classified through establishment of an independent and evidence-based process that will use risk of harm as a key criterion
  • Establishing clearer and more concise criteria on how journeyperson-to-apprentice ratios are determined
  • Developing an enforcement and compliance committee and appeal process to resolve potential conflicts earlier, as well as ensure enforcement activities are consistently carried out with safety and the public interest in mind.

Mr. Dean's report was informed by an open and transparent year-long review that included consultations with several hundred tradespeople, employers and industry and trade boards representing more than 70 trades.

Ontario's ongoing commitment to strengthen the skilled trades and apprenticeship system is part of the government's plan to build Ontario up. The plan includes investing in people's talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.

Quick Facts

  • The Ontario College of Trades officially opened for membership on April 8, 2013 and provides members with benefits such as recognition as a skilled-trades professional, enforcement of trade regulations, and a mechanism to ensure public safety through a discipline and complaints process.
  • There are 237,000 active members in the Ontario College of Trades in more than 150 apprenticeable trades, including the construction, industrial, motive power and service sectors.
  • Ontario appointed Mr. Dean to conduct this review in October 2014.
  • Tony Dean started his working life as a machine tool fitter/millwright at the Dunlop Tire Company in Birmingham, UK. Following an apprenticeship, his trade qualifications were granted by the City and Guilds of London Institute.
  • Ontario is investing more than $176 million to support apprenticeships in 2015-2016.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“I’d like to thank Mr. Dean for the consultative and tireless approach he took to develop this comprehensive report. Our government firmly believes that Ontario’s skilled tradespeople deserve to have a central role in guiding the future of their own industry, and Mr. Dean’s report confirms the importance of the Ontario College of Trades in supporting this important goal. We will work closely with the College over the coming months to implement these recommendations in a timely and responsible manner and help it remain strong and sustainable long into the future.”

Reza Moridi

Minister of Training, Colleges, and Universities

“It was a privilege to take on this review and to hear from so many people and organizations around the province. I’m grateful to Minister Moridi and officials at the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, and at the College of Trades, for their support over the past year. My recommendations are designed to put the College on a stronger and more sustainable footing and I’m confident that over time they will result in even better support for skilled tradespeople across Ontario.”

Tony Dean

Independent Reviewer

“The Ontario College of Trades would like to thank the Premier and the Minister for agreeing to initiate this comprehensive review and for their continued support for the College’s mandate. We are pleased that Mr. Dean’s Report endorses the valuable work we do on a daily basis to protect the public interest and modernize and promote the skilled trades in Ontario. We are committed to working with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities on the development of an implementation strategy that is effective and practical.”

Pat Blackwood

Chair of the Board of Governors, Ontario College of Trades

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Education and Training