The registrar and CEO of the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) admits that many trade workers in Ontario still seem to be unclear about the eight-year-old college’s role in the workplace and its potential impact on them.
In a recent message on the OCOT website, George Gritziotis says that while the college has made advances since it was established in 2009, more clarity is still needed among trade workers.
“The questions I keep hearing are: What does the College do for me as a member? What value does the College bring? [and] What do I get for my membership fee?” he writes.
Although Gritziotis is not specifically named on the page, the message appears under the headline of “CEO’s message” and the opening paragraph the writer describes himself as “the new registrar and CEO of the Ontario College of Trades.
He describes the college’s principal mandate as being to promote skilled trades in Ontario and protect the public from unqualified, incompetent or unfit practitioners.
“In a competitive and crowded industry where others have not invested the same amount of time in acquiring the required skills and expertise, you (OCOT members) stand out both for your Certificate of Qualification and College membership,” he writes. “The College is working, on your behalf, to ensure that you do stand out from those who are not certified tradespeople.”
Gritziotis points out that skilled trades play an important role in Ontario, and the demand for skilled trade professionals greatly outstrips supply.
He said the college will continue to partner with government to modernize apprenticeships, update training standards and ensure workers are certified to perform the work of compulsory trades.
Gritziotis replaced the outgoing college registrar and CEO David Tsubouchi on Oct. 16, 2017.