Canadian Contractor

By The Government of Ontario   

Ontario launching new agency to better serve tradespeople

Canadian Contractor Trades & Hiring agency canada contractor skilled trades ontario

The Ontario government has launched Skilled Trades Ontario, a new Crown agency, to improve trades training and simplify services. The new agency will promote and market the trades, develop the latest training and curriculum standards, and provide a streamlined user-friendly experience for tradespeople. These changes will result in more workers for in-demand jobs and prepare Ontario for a strong economic comeback.

“We’re redrawing the system to address Ontario’s labour shortage and make the trades a career of choice for more people,” said 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 new online services will help apprentices conveniently manage their careers in one place with an online one-stop-shop for scheduling classes and exams, submitting forms, paying fees and more. These changes will reduce the skilled labour shortage the province currently faces – estimated at 350,000 by 2025 – by making it easier for more people to learn about and enter the trades, including reducing processing and registration times for applicants from 60 days to 12.

“The creation of Skilled Trades Ontario is an important milestone, and one I am thrilled to be a part of leading,” said Michael Sherrard, Chair of Skilled Trades Ontario. “The implementation of a successful apprenticeship and skilled trades system is critical to the economic growth and success of our province, and today’s announcement is the next step in securing that future for us all.”


An independent Board of Directors will lead the agency in delivering on the government’s Skilled Trades Strategy to break the stigma surrounding the trades, simplify the system, and encourage employers to hire more apprentices.

“The skilled trades are the backbone of our province – offering 144 well-paying and in-demand careers for people to choose from,” said Chief Executive Officer and Registrar Melissa 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.”

Launching this new agency builds on the government’s ongoing efforts to attract, support, and protect workers, making Ontario the top place in the world to work, live and raise a family.


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1 Comment » for Ontario launching new agency to better serve tradespeople
  1. Sparky says:

    I have been involved in the trades for about 50 years now. I am very concerned about the latest PLAN. It already stinks of cash for life administrative jobs, red tape and government mismanagement. Of course the participants are thrilled with this new government initiative, they have just been handed a free ride on the backs of government and fees fees fees. Just like ESA and TSSA they have been turned into cash cows which had a safety mandate at one time but have turned it into greed. I taught electrical classes at Algonquin College and was always very disappointed when a student showed no basic knowledge of the trade after 3 years of their apprenticeship. Most would sheepishly say the were being used as goffers and labourers on the job sites because their hourly rate was subsidised and was cheaper than the union rate for a labourer. As for being run by a board of directors, I have been there, by the time these HAND PICKED board members get their position one thing is for certain they must play by the rules, they must do as told or they will be replaced. All the catchy slogans and free stuff is not going to help the trades. Keep the government, politics and high priced executives at bay and maybe with the right leadership and a hands on system with checks and balances to ensure the trades candidates are actually learning something it may work. To sum up greed or as they call it good business, I am aware of contractors who take on apprentices and free school students so they have another live face on site to bill out at $100 plus per hour. They are not interested in teaching them anything, just be there and look busy. I could go on for hours and yes the system has been a thorn in my ass for 5 decades.

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