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Ontario, Alberta announce MOU to work to recognize worker credentials

Ontario, Alberta announce MOU to work to recognize worker credentials

CALGARY — The governments of Ontario and Alberta have reached an agreement to collaborate on recognizing worker credentials.

The partnership will reduce interprovincial barriers for credential recognition and encourage the flow of labour between Ontario and Alberta, the governments stated.

A July 5 release said Ontario has been looking for strategies to open pathways into the trades for more apprentices and remove barriers for internationally trained workers to work in the province, while Alberta is looking to expand its list of international credentials to address gaps in the skilled labour market and fill openings in high-demand fields.

Under a memorandum of understanding (MOU), the provinces will work together to share expertise and information and explore an international credential recognition framework for skilled trades that will support mobility between the jurisdictions. A common framework could lead to more internationally skilled workers, with verified credentials, writing certifying exams.

Skilled Trades Ontario (STO) is responsible for assessing whether the experience and qualifications obtained by applicants for an Ontario certificate of qualification are equivalent to those received through completing an Ontario apprenticeship program. STO’s Trade Equivalency Assessment is the first step towards obtaining a Certificate of Qualification for experienced workers who have not completed an Ontario apprenticeship but who have equivalent skills and experience.

“This MOU will allow Ontario and Alberta to better fill short- and long-term needs for skilled tradespeople,” stated STO’s registrar and CEO Melissa Young in a statement. “As a result, through rigorous credential assessment, we’ll have proactively identified pools of highly skilled tradespeople.”

Ontario’s Working for Workers legislation will require regulated professions to have a policy to accept alternatives where standard registration-related documents cannot be obtained for reasons beyond an applicant’s control, such as war or natural disasters. If passed, Ontario would be the first province in Canada to have this legislation.

Ontario Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development David Piccini commented, “Ontario needs hundreds of thousands of additional skilled trades workers over the next decade to build homes, hospitals and highways.

“Working together with Alberta, we’re sharing knowledge and expertise on international credential recognition, removing barriers to skilled workers filling in-demand jobs and building our communities.”

The MOU will be reviewed in 18 months.

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