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Skilled Trades Ontario hosts apprenticeship summit

May 8, 2023  By Skilled Trades Ontario

Discussion of Skilled Trades Ontario’s first strategic plan at the Building Ontario’s Future facilitated workshop

Ontario’s skilled trades agency has unveiled a strategic framework that aims to shape the future of apprenticeship in the province. The framework was shared with over 250 industry leaders, educators, and apprentices for feedback at Skilled Trades Ontario’s first-ever industry summit on apprenticeship, held at the Toronto Congress Centre.

“The labour shortage is a critical challenge for Ontario – and it is more pressing now than ever before,” said Melissa Young, CEO/Registrar, Skilled Trades Ontario. “With one in five jobs predicted to be in the skilled trades by 2026, we need to take action to attract and inspire the next generation of skilled trades professionals. Our strategic plan will provide a clear roadmap for driving growth in the sector and positioning Ontario as a leader in apprenticeship.”

Skilled Trades Ontario’s new strategic framework is built on four pillars to guide the agency’s work over the next three years:

  • Supporting an innovative apprenticeship and certification model
  • Promoting and advancing the skilled trades
  • Facilitating research in the skilled trades
  • Building a diverse, equitable, inclusive skilled trades sector



The event featured remarks from Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development, Deepak Anand, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development, Michael Sherrard, Board Chair, Skilled Trades Ontario, Charmaine Williams, Associate Minister of Women’s Social and Economic Opportunity and Dan Mills, Deputy Minister, New Brunswick Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour.

“The skilled trades industry is the backbone of our economy, and we need to prepare the next generation for these life-changing careers,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “Under the leadership of Premier Ford, our government has tasked Skilled Trades Ontario with a clear mandate to simplify the system and bring the skilled trades system in our province into the 21st century.”

Stakeholders were invited to provide their feedback into the pillars of the strategic plan throughout the day. Sessions included a fireside chat attended by apprentices, employers, educators, and labour organization representatives, as well as an interactive, facilitated workshop discussion.

Topics raised by event attendees included simplifying apprenticeship pathways, promoting the variety of career opportunities in the skilled trades, taking an informed, data-driven approach to decision-making, and the need to prioritize partnerships with equity-deserving communities, youth, and Indigenous peoples to improve diversity in the sector.

“Ontario is facing a significant challenge, and we recognize that we cannot overcome it alone,” said Melissa Young. “The insights we heard at our industry summit will impact the direction of our strategic plan for the better. We remain committed to working closely with our partners as we embark on our ambitious three-year plan to position Ontario as the number one destination for skilled trades professionals.”

Quick Facts

  • Skilled Trades Ontario’ Strategic Plan 2023-2026 will be released this summer.
  • Over 250 stakeholders attended Unleashing Ontario’s Potential, Skilled Trades Ontario’s inaugural industry summit on apprenticeship.
  • To inform the framework of the plan, Skilled Trades Ontario conducted an environmental scan of comparable organizations across the country, various reports including the Skilled Trades Panel’s Phase 1 report, Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship’s strategic plan and direct stakeholder engagement.

Skilled Trades Ontario is an agency of the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development responsible for apprenticeship and skilled trades certification in Ontario. Skilled Trades Ontario is dedicated to simplifying access to services for skilled trades professionals, promoting the skilled trades as a career of choice and addressing the labour shortage in the skilled trades, in partnership with government and industry.


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