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Last year, the Ontario Government announced it would be shutting down the Ontario College of Trades. More recently, in May, the government passed the Modernizing the Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2019, which provided the new legislative framework that will govern Ontario’s skilled trades and apprenticeship system. Members may recall that the legislation created new powers for the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) and introduced the concept of “portable skill sets” and “risk-based restricted activities.” Portable skill sets are a new competency-based system to provide workers and employers with more flexibility and choice to help apprentices get trained and working faster. The legislation provided almost no detail about how trades and apprenticeships would be administered going forward, but HRAI was advised that a full consultation process would be introduced in the fall to guide the development of appropriate regulations.

On September 23rd, Ross Romano, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities announced that Adam Melnick and Andrew Pariser have been appointed as the Minister’s “Training and Skills Advisors” (TSAs) for a period of two years. They will lead consultations with industry and stakeholders and provide recommendations to the Minister to modernize the skilled trades and apprenticeship system.

Adam Melnick is the current Director of Government and Community Relations for the Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, Local 95. Previously, he held the roles of elected Business Agent, Director of Apprenticeship and Training, and Instructor for this local for nearly a decade. Andrew Pariser is the Vice-President of Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON), specializing in training and apprenticeship, health and safety, and labour relations.

HRAI has already been in contact with the TSAs and has been advised that the consultations will be primarily focused on the two key changes noted above: portable skills sets and restricted activities. The consultation will also include two phases:

  1. The creation of a framework for both portable skills sets and restricted activities; and
  2. The use of the framework to create recommendations on portable skills sets and restricted activities.

HRAI will be actively engaged in these consultations and will inform members of opportunities to be heard as the process unfolds.

For more information, contact Martin Luymes at mluymes@hrai.ca or Dorothy McCabe at dmccabe@hrai.ca.