PCA Concerned by OCOT Delay in Ratio Reviews

Toronto (March 20, 2018) – The Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA) is disappointed by the Ontario College of Trades’ (OCOT) request for a 12-month extension to its obligation to review apprenticeship ratios.

“It’s unfortunate that it will now be more than a year before there is any serious conversation about ratios and opening up opportunities in the skilled trades,” said Karen Renkema, Public Affairs Manager at PCA. “If OCOT was serious about closing the skills gap, reviews would have taken place already.”

OCOT is mandated by the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act to review ratios every four years. It has now been more than four years since the beginning of the last ratio review period. OCOT was to begin the review process next month.

According to the Ontario College of Trades, it requested the delay in order to “review and assess the criteria and process established in regulation O. Reg. 458/11, and recommended by Tony Dean in his 2015 report …”

“PCA has been advocating that the Ontario College of Trades implement Tony Dean’s recommendations ever since their release,” said Renkema. “OCOT has had more than enough time to reflect, make the needed changes and get on with reviewing ratios.”

Ontario some has some of the highest apprenticeship ratios in Canada, which prevent companies from hiring more apprentices. Current ratios limit the number of positions and opportunities for young people to get into the skilled trades. PCA believes OCOT should be making ratio reviews a priority to help address Ontario’s skilled trades shortage. PCA’s 2018 Budget Submission urged the Ontario government to stick to its legislated ratio review timelines (April 2018) as this is a top priority for its members.

“PCA agreed years ago that the process needed refinement. We are committed to working with OCOT to improve the process and finally get it right,” added Renkema. “We look forward to working with the new CEO of OCOT, George Gritziotis, to establish a more credible, consistent and evidence informed decision making process that is fairer and better serves both employers and young people.”

About the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA)

PCA is the voice of progressive unionized employers in Canada’s construction industry. PCA member companies are leaders in infrastructure construction across Canada, employing more than 25,000 skilled construction workers who are represented primarily by CLAC. PCA promotes fair and open construction tendering in ALL Ontario municipalities.

For further information, contact:

Danna O’Brien, danna@obriencommunications.ca, 416-500-0699