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Skilled Trades Ontario to streamline training and support for workers

·2-min read

TORONTO, May 6, 2021 /CNW/ - Unifor is hopeful about the future of skilled trades training and development following the announcement of Skilled Trades Ontario, a new, streamlined crown agency.

Ontario legislative building. (CNW Group/Unifor)
Ontario legislative building. (CNW Group/Unifor)

"Since the provincial government first announced its intention to replace the Ontario College of Trades, Unifor has been deeply engaged in this process," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. "I look forward to continuing to work together as we move to the next phase and implement these changes for the next generation of skilled tradespeople that our province will rely on."

The announcement of the new crown agency comes after two years of stakeholder engagement, consultation, and marks the start of additional, public consultation.

"The union supports the changes including the decision to maintain compulsory trades and scopes of practice for tradespeople," said John Breslin, Unifor National Skilled Trades Director. "More importantly, Unifor supports new initiatives to attract young workers and workers from marginalized communities into the trades."

Unifor's own National Skilled Trades Council regularly engages in outreach and education with young workers, racialized and Indigenous workers, and women, all who are underrepresented in the sector.

"Ontario will need 100,000 new skilled tradespeople in the next decade alone, so now is the time to update our training, and make the process more accessible to young workers and to workers interested in re-training and learning a trade," said Naureen Rizvi, Unifor Ontario Regional Director.

The Union further supports the new crown agency's intention to support apprentices and tradespeople with digital, integrated access to apprentice registration, issuance of certificates and renewals, and equivalency assessments.

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. Unifor represents more than 50,000 skilled trades workers and apprentices in 63 types of skilled across Canada working in over 20 sectors. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.



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