The 2020 Fall Budget highlighted Ontario’s vision for a modernized, client-focused apprenticeship and skilled trades system through the Skilled Trades Strategy.

The strategy seeks to modernize the skilled trades and apprenticeship system and help enable the province’s economic recovery by:

  • breaking the stigma and support awareness of the skilled trades
  • simplifying the system
  • encouraging employer participation

Visit this page often for updates on:

  • changes to the skilled trades and apprenticeship system
  • the ongoing transformation of the Skilled Trades Ontario (STO)

Changes in effect

New framework for the skilled trades and apprenticeship system

The Building Opportunities in the Skilled Trades Act, 2021 came into force on January 1st, 2022.

This legislation:

  • establishes a new Crown agency called Skilled Trades Ontario that, at maturity, will enable tradespeople to get certification in one place, with enhanced digital services
  • assigns the Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development responsibility for regulatory decisions for the skilled trades and the Ministry responsibility for inspections
  • enhances the services provided to apprentices, skilled trades workers and their employers

New agency to oversee apprenticeship training

With the new legislation now in place, Skilled Trades Ontario replaces the Ontario Colleges of Trades. At maturity, Skilled Trades Ontario will be responsible for apprenticeship and skilled trades training and certification in Ontario, including:

  • registering apprentice training agreements
  • issuing certificates
  • developing apprenticeship program standards
  • assessing individuals who have not completed an Ontario apprenticeship

Key goals of system change include:

  • one-window access for all client services, making the system more efficient and easier to use for apprentices, journeypersons and employers
  • a digital-first service delivery model for all skilled trades and apprenticeship clients with round-the-clock access to online services
  • a comprehensive assisted-support model for people who are unable to use digital services on their own

Enhance supports for apprentices

The government has launched the following new programs to improve services for apprentices:

  • The Group Sponsorship Grant which encourages employers to come together to train apprentices in the full scope of their trade.
  • The Achievement Incentive program to encourage skilled trades employers to train apprentices toward trade program progression, completion and certification through milestone payments.

Learn more about money apprentices can receive during their training.

Contact us

If you were an Ontario College of Trades member and have an inquiry regarding your membership and related services, cluding renewing your certification, please contact the Skilled Trades Ontario at 1-855-299-0028, or visit their website.

If you need more information about skilled trades and apprenticeship modernization, please contact Employment Ontario:

Contact the Occupational Health and Safety Contact Centre at the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development if you would like to report either:

  • trade work being performed in a compulsory trade by someone who may not be authorized under Ontario’s skilled trades legislation
  • work being performed in an unsafe manner at an Ontario workplace

Contact the Occupational Health and Safety Contact Centre: