CIIA open letter says auto painter trade ‘in distress’

Hamilton, Ontario — June 9, 2014 — Ontario’s class registrations for auto painting are down. In fact, the numbers have fallen so far that no classes have been offered for the last three years.

John Norris of Collision Industry Information Assistance (CIIA) has issued the following open letter to the industry, asking for input on this critical issue.

Dear Ontario shop owner/manager:

The Automotive Painter trade in Ontario is in distress.

This voluntary skilled trade has experienced a significant decline in the number of apprentices signing up for this vocation to the point, that for the last three years, no training by community colleges has been offered due to dwindling class registration.

After a four-year training absence, Ontario can revoke the Training Delivery Agreement approval for a College to teach this course.

Currently the trade figures are:

MTCU advises as of March 31, 2014 that:
120 Active Apprentices
165 All-time CofAs issued

College of Trades advises as May 12, 2014 that:
93 Number of Apprentices
8 Number of Journeypersons
8 New registrations issued in period Jan-April 2014
0 CofAs issued during same period

22-25 Total number of registrations in average per year last three years

At their last meeting, the Ontario College of Trades Auto Body and Collision Damage Repairer Trade Board (which has jurisdiction for the trade of Automotive Painter) asked me to provide them a report prior to their July meeting on options and possible recommendations for this trade. Current requirements for this voluntary trade include an 8-week apprenticeship with a paid per-diem offered to the training delivery agent.

I am writing to you asking for your comments and suggestions on how to handle the future activity in the Automotive Painter trade (trade code is 410N) in Ontario.

Some options may include:

-Make the trade compulsory
-Engage paint coatings firms to become the training delivery agents or work with colleges for training delivery
-“Grandfather” the trade- everyone in it automatically becomes licensed
-Allow a certain time frame for “challengers” and they then write the
Red Seal exam federally
-Obligate the community college to offer training
-Sub contract training to associations to deliver within the college facility
-Obligate Automotive Painter apprentices to take the painter course within the Auto Body and Collision Damage Repairer curriculum and time frames
-Encourage higher sign-ups and college attendance
-Apply to drop the trade designation entirely
-Other recommendations?

I would be eager to hear from you on suggestions and recommendations for the Automotive Painter trade over the next few weeks, and would be pleased to speak with you on this issue.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Best wishes,

John Norris
Executive Director CIIA/ HARA


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