Proposed new legislation - Building Opportunities in the Skilled Trades Act

Regulation Number(s):
Instrument Type:
Bill or Act:
Proposed new legislation - Building Opportunities in the Skilled Trades Act
Summary of Proposal:
As part of the Government's Skilled Trades Strategy, the proposed legislation would, if passed, provide a governing framework to better meet the needs of a modern and future-focused economy. If passed, this legislation would replace the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2009 and the Modernizing the Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2019.

The proposed legislation intends to:

1. Maintain system stability by continuing regulation based on the full scope of practice of trades classified as compulsory. It would also continue to allow apprenticeship training and certification for trades that are not classified as compulsory.

Prohibitions would include a requirement that individuals may not engage in the practice of a compulsory trade and that persons may not employ them to do so, unless the individual: is a registered apprentice; holds a certificate of qualification or a provisional certificate of qualification; or is exempted by a regulation.

Apprentice to Journeyperson ratios would be continued at 1:1 for trades subject to ratios

2. Create simpler system delivery with a Crown agency

The system is currently co-delivered by the ministry and the Ontario College of Trades. This is confusing for clients to understand and navigate.

The proposed legislation would create a replacement model in the form of an agency, Skilled Trades Ontario, which, at maturity, would enable an integrated client service point of access for apprenticeship registration and training in addition to certification and renewals.

It is anticipated that the agency would begin to deliver training and certification functions currently delivered by a regulatory college later this year, with the integration of additional functions over a period of 2 to 3 years.

3. Provide for continued Ministerial oversight of the system and the agency

The Minister would be responsible for prescribing trades and making decisions about mandatory training and certification, in addition to other regulatory decisions such as ratios and exemptions. The Minister would continue to be responsible for: approval and funding of apprenticeship in-class training providers; and, program design and administration of skilled trades and apprenticeship funding programs and supports.

The proposed legislation would provide various tools to support agency oversight from, and agency reporting to, the Minister.

4. Provide for ministry-led compliance and enforcement

Compliance tools would include compliance orders and notices of contravention with administrative penalties, in addition to education and awareness approaches

The Ontario Labour Relations Board would continue to be responsible for reviewing notices of contravention upon request from the recipient.

In addition, the Minister could: prescribe a compliance and enforcement framework to increase transparency and establish an advisory committee to provide advice on ministry-led compliance and enforcement.

Provincial offences related to exam cheating and fraudulent applications would be continued with maximum fines of $10,000 on conviction.

5. Support industry input

The agency CEO would be empowered to establish industry advisory committees to ensure that the apprenticeship training and curriculum standards reflect the most up-to-date and modern industry needs.

The Minister would also be empowered to establish industry advisory committees if required.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
There are no anticipated additional costs associated with this proposal to businesses, apprentices, or skilled tradespeople.

Initial implementation of the agency would involve continuation of its functions that are currently delivered by a regulatory college. The Ministry would work to support a transition which would be seamless for existing clients.

At mature state, it is anticipated that the integrated client service point of access may result in a reduction of administrative costs to apprentices and their sponsors.

Ministry-led compliance and enforcement may also result in a reduction of regulatory costs to businesses due to opportunities for co-ordinated inspection visits with other existing ministry inspections and implementation of the province's best practices including recognition of "good actors".
Further Information:
Proposal Number:
21-MLTSD 010
Posting Date:
May 6, 2021
Comments Due Date:
June 5, 2021
Contact Address:
Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship legislation proposal
Apprenticeship Branch
Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development
315 Front St W, 17th Floor
Toronto, ON M7A 0B8