Ontario’s Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development Monte McNaughton has announced the appointment of five members to a Skilled Trades Panel for a nine-month term.
The new panel, chaired by construction lawyer Michael Sherrard, the founding member of Sherrard Kuzz LLP, will provide advice and recommendations to the minister on the replacement of the Ontario College of Trades. A statement issued by the ministry after McNaughton’s morning announcement indicated the panel will be asked to come up with a “new approach to providing services, including compliance with compulsory training and certification requirements.
“The panel will also provide guidance on the criteria and process used to make decisions on the classification and training for the trades.”
The other members are Jason Ottey, director of government relations and communications for the Labourers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) Local 183; Shaun Scott, director of organizational development at Linamar; Melanie Winter, regional human resources director with Cascades for Western and Central Canada; and Melissa Young, executive director of the National Electrical Trade Council.
The government passed the Modernizing the Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Act last year, paving the way for dismantling the Ontario College of Trades.
During his address at the Downtown Toyota premises this morning in Toronto, McNaughton said the system of compulsory and non-compulsory trades in construction would be maintained during the transition.
“Since becoming minister I have heard loud and clear that we need to maintain certain concepts even as we modernize,” he said. “Therefore, I am pleased to say we intend to restore the existing compulsory and non-compulsory trade classifications.
“We understand that certain trades operate in unique operating conditions. Some trades of those have considerable health and safety consideration for their workers, such as the electrical trades. As a result, most of the current compulsory trades including those in construction trades, will be maintained in the transition phase of this process.”
McNaughton also said the government will allocate an additional $75 million, for a total program budget of $286 million, over the next two years to help apprentices pay for living expenses during their in-class training.
Watch for more information including additional comments from the minister later today.
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