Reviewer’s Update May 2015 | Supporting Skilled Trades in Ontario
The review team is now wrapping up the consultations and still meeting people and organizations on a daily basis through the next couple of weeks. We are benefiting from thoughtful advice and information which will directly inform our thinking and the content of our report to the Minister and the Chair of the College’s Board of Governors. We will have heard from over 300 individuals and representatives of organizations and 40 trade boards representing over 50 trades and spanning the four sectors covered by the College’s mandate.
We have travelled the province and heard from individuals and apprentices in the trades, large and small employers, training organizations, trade unions and industry associations.
All have spoken about the important role of the College in promoting and elevating the trades as well as streamlining access for those interested in apprenticeship.
A large number of concerns have been raised about the classification process established to determine the status of trades as voluntary or compulsory. Issues include onus, timelines, inclusion, the role and use of evidence, the usefulness of existing criteria for decision makers and the make-up of the decision-making panel.
The use of Scopes of Practice (SoP) in the classification process has also been actively discussed. There is a widespread belief that many of the SoPs are outdated and inconsistent formats and would benefit from a thorough review.
There are some concerns about the process established for reviewing journeyperson to apprentice training ratios but this varies by sector and region. Like the classification review process, the use of evidence and the existing criteria for decision making has emerged as issues here.
The SoPs for trades has also emerged in discussions on college enforcement activity for compulsory trades. In some cases enforcement activity based on SoPs is clashing with previous decisions made by the Ontario Labour Relations Board in sorting out jurisdictional and work assignment disputes between trade unions or between a trade union and an employer. Our mandate requires us to provide recommendations on this matter.
Going forward, the next few weeks will be dedicated to analysis and options development. In mid to late June we will start to signal our early thinking on some aspects of the terms of reference and more ideas will be tested in July and August.
Thanks to the many groups and individuals who have participated in the review this far and I look forward to the months ahead.