Ratio restrictions prevent hiring of apprentices, says OEL survey

Peter Saunders
August 30, 2018
In a recent Ontario Electrical League (OEL) survey of employers in the industry, 73 per cent of respondents indicated they would hire more apprentices if ratio restrictions were eased.

“Many electricians trying to enter the industry are turned away,” says Stephen Sell, OEL president, “because contractors have already filled the maximum amount of apprentice positions they can legally have. While many baby-boomer electricians are retiring, the ratio cap puts the development of the next generation of electricians at risk.”

“There’s a skill shortage,” agrees Dave Ackison, former OEL board chair and owner of Ackison Electric. “A 1:1 ratio would solve many issues.”

The province’s current ratio structure allows an electrical employer to hire one apprentice for each of the first four journeymen (i.e. ‘1:1’), but imposes tighter restrictions thereafter, such that multiple journeymen must be added before a new apprentice can join them.

“These higher ratios prevent companies from hiring,” says Alexander Klusek, who graduated last year from Sheridan College’s electrical technician course, but has yet to land work as an electrician. “I have applied to more than 100 companies. You hear about a lack of skilled workers for the trades, but it’s not easy to break into the industry.”

OEL is encouraging industry stakeholders to lobby the province’s Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU), which imposes the ratio cap, to ease such restrictions when they are scheduled for revision in April 2019.


+1 #2 David McMuldroch 2018-10-01 12:35
Totally agree with Blaine This would lead to more abuse in the residential sector. Residential contractors already abuse system by having no Journeyman on job by working across street in another house and leaving apprentices by themselves.All this would do is put more money in the contractors pocket.
+1 #1 Blaine 2018-09-20 13:30
I am Jr Electrician and have been in the trade for over 30 yrs. I dispute the above claims regarding apprentices.
Residential and commerce contractors are notorious for maning there jobs with apprentices and very few journeymen present at the site.
This lack of mentorship creats unsafe sites and poorly trained journeymen.
It also creates unfair advantage for those companies that cheat the rules.
When I was an apprentice a contractor once referred to me as cheap labor. It was very rewarding to me every time I completed a period of my training that I was not as cheap as I had been.

Add comment

Security code

Subscription Centre

New Subscription
Already a Subscriber
Customer Service
View Digital Magazine Renew

Latest Events

OEL Golf Day
September 18, 2019
EFC Economic Forecast Day
September 19, 2019
IAEI Canadian Section Meeting
September 20-22, 2019

We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. To find out more, read our Privacy Policy.