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Getting into skilled trades faster with “Grade 10 to Apprenticeship Pathway”

March 30, 2023 | By Anthony Capkun

March 30, 2023 – Changes in Ontario will allow Grade 11 students to transition to a full-time, skilled trades apprenticeship program through the Grade 10 to Apprenticeship Pathway”.

Steven Crombie, chair, Ontario Skilled Trades Alliance, says that allowing students to pursue apprenticeship opportunities after Grade 10 “is a clear signal to both students and parents that a career in the skilled trades is a career for life”.

“To ensure all students can get ahead in this province, we are accelerating pathways from high school to apprenticeship learning and, ultimately, a career in the skilled trades,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education.

Upon receiving their Certificate of Apprenticeship, these youth can apply for their Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) as mature students.

The Ministry of Education is working to recognize up to 30 credits required to earn the OSSD for individuals with a Certificate of Apprenticeship or equivalent.

“These changes provide students with exciting pathways to good-paying jobs and rewarding careers, and support our government’s ongoing work to attract more young people into the skilled trades,” said Premier Doug Ford.

According to the province, 72,000 new workers are needed by 2027 in the construction sector alone to fill open positions because of retirements and expected job growth.

“For far too long, parents and students have been told the only path to succeed in life is by going to university, which is simply not true,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development.

IBEW Construction Council of Ontario’s James Barry weighed in on the government’s news, stating “The IBEW CCO will continue to require all prospective apprentices who choose a professional career as a 309A Construction and Maintenance electrician in the Province of Ontario to have the highest entry-level requirements in the industry.”

The government will also begin consultations this fall with employers, unions, education stakeholders, trainers, parents, and others about ways “to make it even easier for young people to enter a career in the trades”. This includes the potential of lowering entry requirements for some of the 106 skilled trades that currently require a Grade 12-level education.

“The IBEW CCO is committed to providing its contractor partners with the most highly trained and safest workforce in the Province of Ontario,” Barry continued. “This is achieved by maintaining high educational standards and by making sure that standards for those entering into 309A electrical apprenticeships are not compromised or diminished in any way.”

“I look forward to the consultation scheduled for the fall of 2023 that will consider lowering the Grade 12 requirement for some trades,” said Ian Cunningham, president, Council of Ontario Construction Associations. “It’s an important consideration, especially as it applies to older apprenticeship applicants with the life experience and aptitudes for the trades, but who lack high school graduation.”

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