TORONTO – Education and construction stakeholders welcomed the chance to speak out on the Ontario government’s plan to allow students to enter apprenticeships after Grade 10.
For students obtaining a certificate of apprenticeship, it represents a possible new pathway to a high school diploma.
But A People for Education report, called Risky Business: Choosing Between School and Apprenticeships May Have Unintended Consequences, is also receiving its share of feedback.
The Daily Commercial News captured some additional commentary from various stakeholders who have varied views on the matter.
“Ontario does have a strong high school graduation rate compared to other provinces and territories. So how is this new pathway going to affect our provincial high school graduation rate?
“How much are educators and students and family going to be involved in these consultations? Because so far the decisions that this government has made in education have been very much done in a silo.”
— Robin Liu Hopson, director of policy and research for People for Education
“Careers in construction both impart and require a great deal of skill, more so than what a typical classroom can provide. The skills acquired on jobsites are very much ‘life skills’ and I would argue prepare students for real life at an expedited rate when compared to traditional learning models.”
— Giovanni Cautillo, president of the Ontario General Contractors Association
“We viewed this as another opportunity to encourage and facilitate the creation of more apprenticeships which are much needed to fill the thousands of jobs going unfilled.”
— Skills Ontario CEO Ian Howcroft
“Unless he or she has been raised in the industry, been going to construction sites with the mother, father or family friend on weekends and has had a good orientation and experience, he or she (a Grade 11 student) is not ready.”
— Ian Cunningham, president of the Council of Ontario Construction Associations