Ontario College of Trades stands pat on apprenticeship ratios
By Patrick Flannery
March 28, 2013 – Saying the present apprenticeship system "works well," the Ontario College of Trades
has left the apprentice-to-journeyperson ratio for the Architectural
Glass and Metal Technician trade unchanged in its ratio review decision
made Feb. 19. The ratio in Ontario remains at one apprentice allowed for
the first journeyperson employed, then one additional apprentice for
every two journeypersons employed thereafter. OCOT regulations regarding
apprenticeships come into force April 8. The ratios will be reviewed again in 2016.
March 28, 2013 – Saying the present apprenticeship system "works well," the Ontario College of Trades has left the apprentice-to-journeyperson ratio for the Architectural Glass and Metal Technician trade unchanged in its ratio review decision made Feb. 19. The ratio in Ontario remains at one apprentice allowed for the first journeyperson employed, then one additional apprentice for every two journeypersons employed thereafter. OCOT regulations regarding apprenticeships come into force April 8.
Only two groups participated in the review process: the Ontario Glaziers Apprenticeship and Training Committee and the Ontario Home Builders' Association . The OGATC recommended sticking with the 1:1/2:1 ratios negotiated in 2007. The OHB called for a straight 1:1 ratio for low-rise residential contractors, but the College was not able to apply different ratios within the same category.
The College's conclusions:
"The industry that actively employs the journey persons and apprentices who participate or have participated in the partnership program is an industry that is confined to industrial, commercial and institutional and high-rise residential buildings. In that industry, the current process for recruiting and training apprentices (of which the ratio is a part) has worked well for both labour and contractors, and there was no impetus for change from either side. The OGATC point out that this is not simply a case of applying by default a ratio that has been around for many years. OGATC represents both labour (union and non-union) and contractors who employ apprentices. the two-to-one ratio is one that has met the needs of the industry and that industry has grown over the past 15 to 20 years. The number of persons in the industry has accordingly increased, primarily by increasing the number of apprentices drawn into the trade. The OGATC's description of recruitment, rates of dropout and completion indicate a reasonably healthy process of recruitment, training (except for the final certification process) and replacement of persons leaving the field. The work involves some considerable skill in all such construction and hence the need for training including safety training given the location of much of the work remains high.
"The picture painted by OHBA with respect to low-rise residential construction is quite different. There are virtually no apprentices and few journey persons at work in the industry. Much of the work that was done by glaziers has been replaced by sealed units of window and doors that are often installed by other trades. The safety and training considerations in low-rise residential are far different from those in high-rise commercial buildings. The OHBA made submissions relating to the entire regulation (as indeed they were required to do) but their real concerns have a more narrow scope. Indeed, the OGATC acknowledged that the fact the regulation covered low-rise residential construction as well as industrial, commercial and institutional and residential high-rise represented a "conundrum."
"Accordingly we conclude that the current system of recruiting and training apprentices using the current ratio works well for those active in the industry and we would not recommend any change. With respect to the low-rise residential sector, there may be other considerations. On behalf of the OHBA, Mr. Hamilton recognized that it would likely require regulatory change to address that issue and that change is not something that he believed, nor do we believe, can be addressed by the College unilaterally."