McGuinty Government Taking Action On Skilled Trades, Apprenticeship Education

September 16, 2008

Ontario is taking steps to promote the skilled trades and modernize the apprenticeship system by establishing a new College of Trades.

The government intends to introduce legislation in spring 2009 that, if passed, would implement the College.

The arms-length College of Trades would promote careers in skilled trades while ensuring Ontario’s skilled trades system meets the growing needs of the economy. It would put skilled trades on a similar footing with teachers,
doctors and nurses, who have their own professional colleges.

Ontario Labour Relations Board Chair Kevin Whitaker has been appointed Implementation Advisor, responsible for developing the College’s governance structure, scope and mandate. His work will inform the drafting of the


“A College of Trades is a balanced approach that embraces the diversity of our skilled trades, both traditional and emerging, as well as the needs of employers, employees, apprentices, labour, the public and the economy,” said
Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities John Milloy.

“A strong Ontario depends on skilled trades. We are working to establish a new College of Trades to promote involvement and careers in the skilled trades,” said Hamilton Mountain MPP Sophia Aggelonitis.

Quick Facts

  • A proposed Ontario College of Trades is one of the key recommendations of the Compulsory Certification Review (Armstrong Report) released May 22, 2008.
  • There are over 150 apprenticeable trades in Ontario covering the construction, industrial/manufacturing, motive power and service sectors.
  • Approximately 110,000 apprentices are currently learning a trade.
  • Apprenticeships in the skilled trades have grown by more than 25 per cent over the past four years.

Learn More

Read the Compulsory Certification Review (Armstrong Report)

Learn more about Ontario’s apprenticeship and certification system

See also: Backgrounder: Strengthening Ontario’s Skilled Trades System

Reference: Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities