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Celebrating National Skilled Trades and Technology Week

News Release

Celebrating National Skilled Trades and Technology Week

Government Launching Online Trades Hub

Ontario's Government is continuing to promote rewarding and vibrant career opportunities in the skilled trades as part of National Skilled Trades and Technology Week.

About one in five new jobs in Ontario over the next five years is expected to be in trades-related occupations. Across the country this week, people and organizations will be hosting events to raise awareness about the many exciting career opportunities in that sector.

"There's a problem on our horizon: Ontario is facing a shortage of workers in the skilled trades," said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. "The solution is clear. We need to let young people and their parents know that a career in the trades is exciting, fulfilling, and lucrative. These are well-paying jobs. We also need to transform our apprenticeship system to make it easier to use."

The Ontario government is kicking off National Skilled Trades and Technology Week by launching ontario.ca/trades, a new hub where people can explore the trades and learn how to become a tradesperson. Employers and current tradespeople can also get help with hiring and learn about changes to the skilled trades and apprenticeship system.

"Our government knows that there are tremendous opportunities in the skilled trades in our province," said Minister McNaughton. "By creating a one-stop shop that makes it easier for people to explore career opportunities in the skilled trades and for employers to hire apprentices and tradespeople, we can help build the workforce Ontario needs to be open for business and open for jobs."

During National Skilled Trades and Technology Week and beyond, the government will continue to build on the actions already taken to modernize skilled trades and apprenticeship in Ontario, which include:

  • Expanding the province's Specialist High Skills Major program to include an additional 122 new programs aimed at encouraging more high school students to consider the skilled trades as a viable career.
  • Supporting over 1,600 people in 2018-2019 to prepare for jobs in the skilled trades through Ontario's pre-apprenticeship training program.  
  • Reducing journeyperson-to-apprentice ratios to 1:1 default for restricted trades, including construction trades. 
  • Continuing to wind down the Ontario College of Trades; eliminating the College's annual renewal fees for apprentices; and reducing fees for journeypersons by 50 per cent. 

"Our economy is evolving and the skilled trades are evolving with it," said Minister McNaughton. "We want young people and their parents to know that trades are using new and modern technology in these exciting careers."

Quick Facts

  • Pre-apprenticeship training programs are publicly-funded, last up to one year, and often combine classroom training with an 8-12 week work placement. To find out about programs in your area, contact Employment Ontario by phone, e-mail or live chat.
  • Over the first half of 2019, Ontario employers had, on average, 200,000 job openings across all occupations and industries. 13,000 of them were in the construction sector alone.
  • Retirements in the skilled trades are a main driver of the need for more skilled workers. In 2016, 31 per cent of skilled trades journeypersons were aged 55 years and over, compared to 22 per cent of all workers in Ontario.
  • On May 29, 2019, Ontario passed the Modernizing the Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2019 to help transform the skilled trades and apprenticeship system, reduce red tape, and make Ontario open for business and open for jobs. That transformation, which will result in a more customer-friendly system, is currently underway.
  • Job seekers can visit ontario.ca/openforbusiness to get training, build their skills and access career information.

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