I’ve long been a supporter of apprenticeship programs. Years ago I wrote a paper that no one read extolling the virtues of such programs and how they could very well help with not only a dwindling skilled trades market but also provide opportunities for youth who might otherwise just drop out and create a harder future for themselves.
I was therefore, surprised and dismayed to see this news
TORONTO, June 26 /CNW/ – Potentially thousands of young Ontario
pre-apprenticeship program graduates could be forced out of work as summer
begins because of unfair and misguided provincial rules. The apprenticeship
jobs are being lost even though contractors have numerous unfilled vacancies
amid a fast-growing shortage of skilled construction trade workers in Ontario.
A campaign launched today, Support Ontario Youth, seeks to draw public
attention to the unnecessary job losses, and to advance a simple and cost-free
provincial government remedy: reduce the ratio of certified electrical trades
persons required for each apprentice from 3:1 to 1:1. The facts are presented
on a new website, www.supportontarioyouth.ca, that went live today.
The situation is most pressing in the electrical trades, where numerous
jobs across the province go unfilled. Other skilled construction trades face
similar challenges. In a requirement almost unique to Ontario, contractors
must have three certified electricians for every apprentice. By comparison,
almost every other province and territory requires just one certified journey
person per apprentice.
Ontario’s ratio imposes tight limits on the number of apprentices
electrical contractors can hire in the province, which means fewer
opportunities for those wanting to work.
The impact hits hardest right now, at the end of the high school year,
when numerous Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) graduates face the
loss of pre-apprenticeship jobs. Prior to graduation, they are allowed to work
in apprenticeship roles because OYAP job positions are not subject to rules
governing apprenticeship ratios.
“It’s disheartening to see the door closed on young people when there are
so many job openings available to them,” said Richard Cullis, President, Dial
One Wolfedale Electric of Mississauga, Ont., and a Director of the Ontario
Electrical League (OEL), a non-profit electrical industry association that is
spearheading the Support Ontario Youth campaign. “Instead of pink slips,
Premier McGuinty should offer apprenticeship candidates new rules that will
let them work.”
Go to this link to send an email to show your support for the Ontario Youth Apprentice Programs http://supportontarioyouth.ca/1_speakout.php