JOC ARCHIVES

June 27, 2009

Skills Training

Minister of training, colleges and universities insists that college of trades panels had to come first

Apprenticeship ratios and compulsory certification panels will roll out before an Ontario College of Trades is up-and-running because they are issues that need immediate attention, said the minister responsible.

“The commitment that we’ve made to the sector as a whole is to get a set of criteria and principles established so we can then start to look at the specifics,” explained John Milloy, the minister of training, colleges and universities.

A recent College of Trades report by Kevin Whitaker delivered a series of recommendations on how to establish the arms-length self-governing institution designed to promote skilled trades and modernize apprenticeship in Ontario.

His report recommends a three-phase, 27 month process to get the institution up and running.

“I think he has set out a realistic timeframe, but it is a fast timeframe because these are some issues that need attention,” said Milloy.

The first phase of the college’s creation is slated to last 12 months and will see the appointment of adjudicators to the three-person ratio and compulsory status panels.

The ratio-review panel is to begin its work during this phase as well.

In the second phase, the compulsory status review panel will begin dealing with applications submitted to it. In the third stage, the college will be officially established.

A wide range of construction industry representatives stated concerns with the speed that the panels will roll out, citing years of tension and unsuccessful attempts to resolve apprenticeship-ratio and compulsory-certification issues. Whitaker determined the three stages based on suggestions through stakeholder consultations, lessons learned by other start-up self governing agencies and the challenges of detangling functions and programs transferred to the college.

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