TORONTO — In May, the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) began consultations to discuss the College’s process for determining journeyperson to apprentice ratios with the next round of reviews beginning in April 2019, however those consultations have been postponed indefinitely.
Government oversight for the College has recently been transferred to the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities (MTCU) from the Ministry of Labour. In addition, the new Conservative government elected in June appointed a new minister to the file, Merrilee Fullerton.
According to the OCOT website, “College staff are preparing for briefings with Minister Fullerton and senior staff at MTCU prior to continuing the review.”
Journeyperson to apprentice ratios place limits on the number of apprentices an employer can have at one time and can have significant impacts for employers, apprentices, journeypersons and the labour market.
The ratio reviews are required every four years under the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2009. The previous government passed a regulation allowing the College to consult on the ratio setting process prior to initiating the next round by April 2019.
According to OCOT CEO George Gritziotis’ message posted on the website, “With ratio setting processes scheduled for early next year, it is important to ensure that the process sets ratios that are based on solid data and evidence on the current labour market, future demand for skilled trades workers, quality of the training experience, regional economic profile, health and safety experience of workers, and to ensure we can serve and protect the public interest.”
The Council of Ontario Construction Associations (COCA) participated in the initial consultations and recently commented on the delay in its newsletter.
“On May 23, 2018 COCA members participated in a key stakeholders’ session organized by the Ontario College of Trades to discuss improving the College’s process for determining journeyperson to apprentice ratios for the next round of ratio reviews which are scheduled to begin in April 2019,” states the newsletter.
“This very successful early stage meeting led to the scheduling of a series of regional consultations with stakeholders in Windsor, Ottawa, Thunder Bay, Sudbury, Mississauga, Markham and Kitchener…This delay will allow OCOT time to brief Minister Fullerton.”