WATERLOO, ONT. — Ian Howcroft has been named the new CEO of Skills Ontario.
Ray Lavender, president of the board of directors for Skills Ontario, recently made the announcement. Effective Jan. 29, Howcroft replaces outgoing Skills Ontario CEO Gail Smyth, who retired this past August.
Howcroft served as a former Skills Ontario board member, serving from 1999 to 2015, including a term as president from 2004 to 2006.
Howcroft has worked at Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) in various roles since 1988. Most recently, he headed CME’s provincial operations and corporate counsel as senior vice-president, and led several strategic initiatives to improve and support health and safety, diversity and workforce training in the manufacturing and industrial sectors.
According to the release, Howcroft has experience working in advocacy, government relations and public policy for the manufacturing and industrial sectors and has an interest in building skill development initiatives across the province. He’s also a member of a number of boards and steering committees undertaking issues ranging from apprenticeship, skills development, health and safety and labour market information.
Through these initiatives, Howcroft has established strong working relationships with government and industry leaders, adds the release.
“I’m very honoured to take on the position of CEO of Skills Ontario and to be able to offer my knowledge and appreciation of skilled trades and technologies, health and safety, and working with government and industry in this important role,” said Howcroft in a statement.