Toronto, Ontario — The Ontario government is introducing a simpler way for tradespeople to get their certifications, via the new Crown agency, Skilled Trades Ontario (SKO), which will replace the Ontario College of Trades (OCoT).
SKO would help to simplify the apprenticeship process, by removing the shared responsibility that currently exists between the OCoT and the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development.
This new agency would be responsible for regulating apprenticeship training and curriculum standards in the trades. It will also serve as the portal tradespeople will use to register, apply for certificates and complete equivalency assessments.
“Skilled trades workers are the engine of our economy,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development.
“Under the current system, responsibilities are shared between OCoT and the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, causing confusion and added burden for people wanting to pursue a career in the skilled trades, which leads to employers struggling to find qualified skilled trades workers.”
It is hoped that under this legislation SKO will make the province’s skilled trades and apprenticeship system more efficient, accessible and easier to navigate.
This initiative is part of the government’s Skilled Trades Strategy that aims to reduce the stigma related to a trades career, simplify the apprenticeship program and encourage business involvement.