From October 2020 to March 2021, we conducted robust and inclusive stakeholder engagement where we engaged in meaningful dialogue on our mandate priorities with a range of key stakeholders, including employers, industry associations, educators, youth, parents, current apprentices and journeypersons.

In order to conduct an in-depth review, our consultation methodology was multi-faceted. We first developed a robust stakeholder database where we identified key groups with whom we wanted to engage. We included stakeholders from all sectors of the skilled trades, the training and education system and organizations representing and supporting underrepresented groups. We then hosted targeted introductory phone calls with significant stakeholder groups to notify them of our appointments and engagement plans, including videoconferencing meetings, the collection of written submissions and an online survey. Throughout this six-month engagement period, we facilitated over 90 engagement sessions with a broad range of stakeholders. We also received over 30 written submissions and received almost 5,600 responses to our online survey.

In summary, our engagement activities included:

  • one-on-one targeted phone calls
  • introductory email to all stakeholders
  • hosting video conferencing engagement sessions
  • receipt of written submissions
  • release of an online survey on
  • individual research

Key highlights

The cumulation of our consultation efforts resulted in the following key engagement outcomes:

  • 90+ engagement sessions
  • 400+ meeting participants
  • 5,600 responses to the survey
  • 30+ written submissions

Engagement sessions

Our virtual engagement sessions included the following partners:

Stakeholder groupPartners engaged
  • Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) participants
  • Apprentices
  • Youth in Care
  • Youth with Disabilities
  • Indigenous Youth
  • Parent Involvement Committee (PIC) Chairs
  • OYAP Coordinators
  • Teachers, including Technological Education and Cooperative Education Teachers
  • Specialist High Skills Major Leads
  • Guidance and Career Leads, including secondary level guidance counsellors
  • Experiential Learning Leads
  • Teacher’s Unions
  • Indigenous Education Leads
  • Technical Education Teachers
  • Employers from across all four skilled trades sectors, including construction, motive power, industrial and the service sector
Industry Associations/ Unions
  • Industry Association
  • Unions
Supporting Organizations
  • Organizations supporting Youth in Care
  • Organizations supporting Youth with Disabilities
  • Organizations supporting newcomers
  • Employment Support Organizations
  • Indigenous Tribal Councils, Support Organizations and Service Providers
  • Employment Ontario Service Providers
  • Training Delivery Agents
Ministry Representatives
  • MLTSD Apprenticeship Branch and Employment and Training Consultants
  • Ministry of Education
  • Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
  • Chief Prevention Office
  • Premier’s Council on Equality of Opportunity (PCEO) Chair & Council
  • Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility

Key discussion questions

During our engagement sessions, we asked participants the following questions to help guide the conversation:

  1. How can we encourage/support more youth to enter/entering the skilled trades? What best practices do you use or have seen? What would you implement?
  2. How can we address the stigma associated with pursuing an apprenticeship and/or a career in the skilled trades?
  3. What are the barriers you face in hiring/promoting/recruiting skilled trades workers? What solutions do you use or would like to see to challenge these barriers?
  4. How can we improve pathways into the skilled trades?

Online survey

In December 2020, we released a comprehensive online survey targeted to five key stakeholder groups: parents/youth, apprentices, training delivery agents, educators, and employer associations/unions. The survey provided us with the opportunity to hear from thousands of people and ensure that their voices and feedback were captured in our review.

The survey was broadly promoted via email to thousands of employers, apprentices, educators, parents and employment service providers; the MLTSD communication team conducted online social media promotion on MLTSDs LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook accounts; we posted on our respective pages and also highlighted the survey in each of our stakeholder meetings and asked participants to share with their networks. The survey garnered close to 5,600 responses, which we believe is a strong sample of the system.

Figure 1: Chart illustrating the breakdown of survey respondents by stakeholder group “type,” as self- identified in the survey.
Stakeholder groupNumber of survey respondentsPercentage of survey respondents
Apprentice or Skilled Trades Worker2,74750%
Employer or Representative of a Union, Industry or Labour Association1,30924%
Organization that Delivers Skilled Trades Programs, Including Training Delivery Agents1944%
Parent or Young Adult69013%

Written submissions

Stakeholders were invited to email written submissions to respond to our key mandate priorities and offer suggestions for enhancing the system to reduce stigma, barriers and create more supportive pathways and transitions. We received over 30 comprehensive submissions, which we reviewed and considered when drafting our final recommendations.

Independent research

In addition to the engagement activities we undertook, we conducted research to support our mandate. We reviewed relevant research reports from the Conference Board of Canada, the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum, BuildForce Canada, and Prism Economics. We focused our research efforts on the following topics: women in the trades, mentorship and onboarding, labour supply, promoting the skilled trades to Indigenous people and people with disabilities, seeking to understand the challenges and experiences of youth who are Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) including racism in schools and the workplace.

We also sought to understand key components of MLTSD’s Skilled Trades Strategy, which align with our mandate.