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News   May 10, 2021   by Christine Hogg

Ontario Government enacts Bill 288 to modernize & streamline apprenticeship training

On May 5, the Ontario Government enacted Bill 288, also known as the Building Opportunities in the Skilled Trades Act, 2021.

The Act sets out provisions regarding the practice of trades in Ontario and apprenticeship training and certification, and provides for the continuation of the Ontario College of Trades under the name Skilled Trades Ontario.

The Act provides that trades may be prescribed for the purposes of the Act, and may be prescribed as compulsory trades. Prohibitions are specified relating to engaging in the practice of compulsory trades or the employment of persons to perform work or engage in the practice of compulsory trades.

Various types of certificates may be issued under the Act. Certificates of qualification may be issued in respect of trades for which a certifying examination is required. Certificates of apprenticeship may be issued to a person who successfully completes an apprenticeship program. If a certificate of apprenticeship is issued to a person in a trade for which a certifying examination is required, the person will also be issued a provisional certificate of qualification in the trade. The Act also sets out provisions relating to the refusal to issue certificates, the imposition of terms, conditions and limitations on certificates and the suspension and revocation of certificates.

The Act includes provisions regarding apprenticeship programs and registered training agreements and imposes certain requirements relating to the programs and agreements.

Inspectors may be appointed under the Act. Inspectors have various powers for the purposes of determining compliance with the Act and the regulations, registered training agreements, compliance orders and other matters. An inspector may issue compliance orders and notices of contravention. A notice of contravention may be reviewed by the Ontario Labour Relations Board in accordance with the process set out in the Act.

The Ontario College of Trades is continued as a corporation without share capital under the name Skilled Trades Ontario. The Act includes various provisions relating to the administration and governance of the Corporation, including the powers and duties of the Registrar of the Corporation.

The Act provides for regulation-making powers on various matters, including on transitional matters arising from the implementation of the Act and the repeal of the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2009. Various other miscellaneous and related provisions are also included.

The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development will continue to play a role in the provinces apprenticeship system by providing system oversight and responsibility for regulatory decisions and financial supports. The Ministry will also be responsible for compliance and enforcement of the skilled trades.

The Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development’s Skilled Trades Panel, created to guide apprenticeship reform, is currently consulting on classification and training in the trades. If you wish to take part in the online consultation, visit:

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3 Comments » for Ontario Government enacts Bill 288 to modernize & streamline apprenticeship training
  1. D Gilmour says:

    There is no question we need qualified trades people in our country and also should be required to challenge a test through apprenticeship to full qualification. In the automotive part though the learning and training should be ramped up close to or meeting what the training is in Great Britan[United Kingdom] once you have completed training there machining and engineering are closely connected with basic skills required in those areas ,which makes sense. I encourage British Columbia to adapt somewhat the same idea that Ontario has and increase the training in the auto industry.

  2. Ian Carney says:

    Although I’m a big supporter of the apprenticeship process here in Ontario I believe there are many issues and areas that require fixing. There should be more stringent testing along the way leading up to the C of Q. Once a license is obtained there should be periodic testing and possibly different levels of certification to help identify skills. The governing bodies should step up and regulate and monitor the compulsory trades to protect the people who actually are licensed. Until these things are done I don’t believe we will ever move forward and be treated seriously as professionals. The current certification process is too much of a blanket coverage that allows sub-par technicians to hide and denies qualified technicians the recognition they deserve.

  3. Ciarán Lowe says:

    It is great to see a renewed focus on skill trades. Now that many industries are relying on workers with laptop computer work days, this not secured employment as these companies are competing on a global stage. In the future this kind of work can be done any where in the world. This type of model will accelerate in the quite near future. Now take skilled trades, computers can’t replace hands on work. If your good you will always have employment and earn a good wage. The trades have come a long way and are very high tech today so training and certification is key. Trades should have more importance’s in today’s society. Look at Holland, they encourage trades now all trades are professional and respected in that country. This encourages the right people to enter the trades knowing they will be respected and paid well.

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