Skilled Trades Ontario is a new Crown agency which replaced the Ontario College of Trades. It operates at arms-length from the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development responsible for skilled trades certification in Ontario, which includes:
- establishing apprenticeship programs, including training standards, curriculum standards and certification exams
- assessing experience and qualifications of individuals who have not completed an apprenticeship program in Ontario
- issuing Certificates of Qualification in all trades with certifying exams
- renewing Certificates of Qualification in compulsory trades
- maintaining a Public Register of people authorized to work in compulsory trades
- conducting research in relation to apprenticeship and the trades
Skilled Trades Ontario is also working toward:
- addressing the labour shortage in the skilled trades sector
- simplifying access to services by building a “one-window” online channel for all skilled trades and apprenticeship clients
- promoting the trades as a career of choice
The Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development is responsible for investigating complaints related to the compulsory trades. To report unsafe or unauthorized work, please contact the Occupational Health and Safety Contact Centre.
The Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development has oversight of trades legislation and regulation, including prescribing/deprescribing trades, scopes of practice, trade classifications and ratios. The Ministry has also assumed responsibility for compliance and enforcement through its Occupational Health and Safety Inspectorate.
Ministers are required to provide each board-governed agency in their portfolio with a mandate letter.
Each year, a mandate letter is sent from the minister to the board chair outlining the minister’s expectations and priorities for the upcoming fiscal year.