Ontario launches new skilled trades agency

'We're redrawing the system to address Ontario's labour shortage and make the trades a career of choice for more people'

Ontario launches new skilled trades agency

Ontario is hoping to improve trades training and simplify services for tradespeople to help address labour shortages in the province.

The province has launched a new Crown agency, Skilled Trades Ontario, which will promote and market the trades, develop the latest training and curriculum standards and provide a streamlined user-friendly experience for tradespeople. 

“We’re redrawing the system to address Ontario’s labour shortage and make the trades a career of choice for more people,” says Monte McNaughton, minister of labour, training and skills development. “The skilled trades provide well-paying and rewarding careers that are vital for our economy. By creating this new agency, we are working for workers and delivering the generational change that labour leaders and employers have been calling for.”

The province’s labour shortage is estimated to be at 350,000 by 2025, according to the government. By then, it estimates that one in five jobs will be in the trades.

In a previous interview with Canadian HR Reporter, McNaughton said that Ontario is investing $1.5 billion over four years “to really focus on ending the stigma around the trades”.

The new agency will also provide online services to help apprentices manage their careers in one place with a one-stop shop for scheduling classes and exams, submitting forms and paying fees.

“The skilled trades are the backbone of our province – offering 144 well-paying and in-demand careers for people to choose from,” says Young. “I commend this government for bringing generational change that will remove the stigma surrounding the trades, cut down on red tape, and ensure all young people know these jobs offer a clear path to a better life.”

Earlier, the Ontario government said it is also planning to add over 5,000 new and upskilled registered nurses and registered practical nurses as well as 8,000 personal support workers (PSWs) to its workforce.

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