Plan to revamp College of Trades moves ahead

The process to replace the Ontario College of Trades took another step forward recently with the provincial government’s introduction of Bill 100, An Act to Implement Budget Measures and Enact, Amend and Repeal Various Statutes, as part of its budget.

Schedule 40 of the Bill – the Modernizing the Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2019 – will, if passed, establish a new governance model for the regulation of the trades and apprenticeships that will be led by the Minister of Training, Colleges, and Universities with input from industry on training programs and regulation.

HRAI reports that despite little information on how the training and apprenticeships will be administered, there are indications on how the government intends to proceed.

It notes the Act gives the minister power to: prescribe “trades” and “skill sets,” prescribe “restricted activities,” issue policies describing the activities of trades and skill sets, and approve training providers for apprenticeship programs.

The minister will also have the power to appoint a Registrar of Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship, whose duties will be similar to those of the chief registrar that existed under the OCOT.

The Act also permits the minister to delegate some of its functions to “administrative authorities,” which would allow the minister to assign key responsibilities to new or existing agencies where the function might be better delivered.

HRAI and other trade bodies will continue to liaise with the government as it comes to decisions on how best to revamp trades and training in Ontario.

In the meantime, the OCOT will continue to administer key functions until its replacement has been established.