Supporting Skilled Trades in Ontario

Ontario Skills

Ontario is appointing former Secretary of Cabinet and Head of the Ontario Public Service, Tony Dean, to review key areas of Ontario’s skilled trades system that fall within the mandate of the Ontario College of Trades. Mr. Dean will build on the College’s success by reviewing issues related to the scopes of practice – or type of work performed in a trade, as well as the process for determining whether certification should be compulsory or voluntary to practice a trade. The trade classification review process will be paused during Mr. Dean’s work. The College will continue to fulfill its mandate while this work is underway.

Mr. Dean will consult with stakeholders and receive support from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities and the College of Trades, but will function independently of both. The appointment begins in October 2014 and will continue for one calendar year. Mr. Dean will then deliver his report to the College of Trades and the ministry. The College will have the opportunity to review his findings and implement key recommendations.

Strengthening Ontario’s apprenticeship system and supporting its skilled tradespeople is a key part of the government’s economic plan for Ontario. The four-part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people’s talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives and building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire.


  • More than 28,000 new apprentices registered in 2013-14, up from 17,100 registrations in 2002-03.
  • There are more than 150 apprenticeship trades in four sectors: construction, industrial/manufacturing, motive power and service.
  • The Ontario College of Trades is an independent, industry-driven governing body that protects consumers, and promotes and modernizes the skilled trades in Ontario.
  • Ontario is investing more than $165 million to support apprenticeships in 2014-15.

Before you hire, visit the Ontario College of Trades’ Public Register to confirm the qualifications of professionals in compulsory trades, such as Electrician or Plumber.