By Canadian Contractor staff
Ontario to require high school students to earn a technological education creditCanadian Contractor News Trades & Hiring Women in Construction
The Ford government hopes the requirement will boost the number of students looking to enter the skills trades.
In a bid to help boost the number of students looking to enter the skills trades, the Ontario government is implementing a new high school graduation requirement mandating that all students earn a Grade 9 or 10 technological education credit in order to receive their diploma.
The mandate comes into effect starting with students entering Grade 9 in September 2024.
“By requiring students to take at least one technological education credit in high school, we are opening up doors and creating new pathways to good jobs in STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] and the skilled trades,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. “All students will benefit from a greater emphasis on hands-on learning experiences and technical skills in the classroom so they can graduate with a competitive advantage in this country.”
The Ford government said the technological education course would cover a wide range of sectors, including construction, transportation, manufacturing, computer, technology, hospitality, and communication.
The mandate also hopes to add more women to trades-related occupations. While almost 39 per cent of Ontario secondary school students were enrolled in a Technological Education course in 2020-21, the province said, nearly 63 per cent were male students. “With this graduation requirement, more young women will have an opportunity to explore the trades,” it said.
The government said Ontario currently has approximately 100,000 unfilled skilled trade jobs, which the government described as “the largest labour shortage in a generation.”