New College of Trades in Ontario

September 23, 2008, 2:38 PM EST

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The Ontario government is planning to establish a College of Trades that would promote careers in skilled trades and help develop skilled trades much in the same way as professional colleges do for doctors, nurses and teachers.

The Ontario government announced September 16 that it's planning to move ahead with the new arms-length college and intends to bring forward legislation in the spring of 2009.

Ontario Labour Relations Board Chair Kevin Whitaker has been appointed Implementation Advisor, responsible for developing the College's mandate and scope as well as the way it will be governed.

"A College of Trades is a balanced approach that embraces the diversity of our skilled trades, both traditional and emerging, as well as the needs of employers, employees, apprentices, labour, the public and the economy," said John Milloy, Ontario Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities.

CAW Skilled Trades Director Colin Heslop attended the announcement in Hamilton.

"In principle the CAW can support a College of Trades provided labour's suggestions and voice are acted on," Heslop said. "We will have discussions within the CAW and our Skilled Trades Council on how best to move forward and present our suggestions to Kevin Whitaker."

The College of Trades was a key recommendation of the Compulsory Certification Review conducted by Tim Armstrong and released in May 2008.

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