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Ontario home builders’ Association oppose trades college structure

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The Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) recently stated that it is opposed to the current structure of the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT).

TORONTO

The Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) recently stated that it is opposed to the current structure of the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT).

OHBA has four main issues with OCOT, which will regulate over 150 skilled trades in Ontario in the construction, industrial, motive power and services sectors.

OHBA argues that OCOT’s framework is biased towards unions and large employers. It also takes issue that the residential sector is grouped with the Institutional/Commercial / Industrial (ICI) sector on the construction divisional board.

“The ICI sector consists of much larger employers which are typically unionized firms. The voice of the residential renovation industry and non-union builders is lost in this structure,” stated OHBA in a bulletin to its members.

OCOT was legislated in 2009 as a response to one of the recommendations made in the Compulsory Certification Project Review by Tim Armstrong. Its mandate includes promoting a career in the skilled trades to youth and reviews journeyman to apprentice ratios and compulsory certification.

OHBA said it believes the process for designating new trades as compulsory is biased towards those who want more compulsory trades.

“Compulsory certification will compartmentalize labour supply, reduce labour mobility, flexibility and employment opportunities for new workers. Outside the GTA, labourers often perform a variety of tasks touching on several trades. If there are more certified trades smaller builders will experience labour shortages and increased costs,” stated the OHBA.

Currently the residential construction sector has minimal representation at OCOT and OHBA said there is no guarantee of greater representation in the future.

This announcement comes as more members of the ICI construction sector are becoming more vocal in their opposition to OCOT. The Ontario Construction Employers Coalition has grown to 14 member organizations and the London and District Construction Association and the Ottawa Construction Association have voiced their public opposition.

OCOT plans to open its doors on Jan. 1, 2013.

DCN NEWS SERVICES

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