NEW – ON: The Ontario government helps out-of-province skilled workers
On February 25, 2022, the Ontario government announced plans to help skilled trades in over 30 in-demand professions quickly relocate and work in the province.
Proposed changes to the Fair Access to Regulated Professions and Skilled Trades Act, 2006, that was introduced on March 2, would see out-of-province workers register, and be allowed to work in Ontario in their regulated trade or profession within 30 days from time of application.
Also included in the proposed legislative revisions is a provision validating all Red Seal credentials from other provinces in Ontario. Currently, out-of-province oil heat system technicians and Class A and B gas fitters are not Red Seal recognized in Ontario. The significant shortage of gas fitters in the province is an issue the CPA has raised consistently on industry’s behalf with Ontario government representatives over the past two years.
The Red Seal Program is a partnership between the federal government, provinces and territories that sets a common standard for apprenticeship training and certification and makes it easier for workers to move between these regions.
The province’s new agency, Skilled Trades Ontario, is also harmonizing training standards for a dozen trades to make it easier for apprentices from other provinces to continue their training in Ontario.
These changes are intended to accelerate the province’s economic recovery by helping build more roads, bridges, highways, homes and public transit. In February 2022, Statistics Canada reported that “unfilled jobs cost the province billions in lost productivity, and between July and September of 2021, there were 338,835 vacant jobs across Ontario, including many in the skilled trades”.
The proposed amendments are expected to move through the legislative approvals process in spring 2022.