Ontario looks to tackle labour shortage through faster credential recognition of out-of-province workers

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Speeding up credential recognition of out-of-province workers in more than 30 regulated trades will help Ontario tackle it’s huge labour shortage, the province said today.

To give Ontario a competitive advantage, the Ford government plans to introduce legislation that ensures workers from other provinces can get their credentials processed within a service standard of 30 business days. This would make it easier for engineers, auto mechanics, plumbers and several other regulated professionals Ontario needs to move to the province, fill vacant in-demand jobs and drive economic growth.

“At a time when our government is building Ontario, it’s never been more important that we attract more workers to fill in-demand jobs,” said Premier Doug Ford. “To do so, we’re cutting red tape to make it easier for skilled professionals from across Canada to get the papers they need to work in Ontario, faster. This move opens more doors for workers to call Ontario home while contributing to our plan to build more roads, bridges, highways, homes and public transit.”

Unfilled jobs cost the province billions in lost productivity, and between July and September of 2021, there were 338,835 vacant jobs across Ontario, including many in the skilled trades.

“Ontario is leading Canada’s economic growth, but I keep hearing from businesses on Main Street who can’t find the workers they need to grow,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “There are hundreds of thousands of paycheques waiting to be collected. We want more skilled professionals and tradespeople to come here.”

In addition, the province is proposing to recognize three fuel-related professions under the province’s skilled trades legislation, meaning Ontario will take steps to officially recognize all 55 Red Seal Trades.

The Red Seal Program is a partnership between the federal government and provinces and territories that sets a common standard for apprenticeship training and certification and makes it easier for workers to move between provinces and territories. The full list of Red Seal trades, some of which will benefit from the 30-business-day registration period, includes construction electricians, tool and die makers and others.

Ontario currently recognizes 52 of the 55 trades covered by the Red Seal program. The three remaining occupations: Gas Fitter Class A, Gas Fitter Class B, and Oil and Heat Systems Technician, are not yet established as skilled trades in Ontario.

Further to these measures, the province is also working towards making it easier for workers who have completed fall protection training in another province to come to work in Ontario. This would include allowing them to start to work immediately after completing a refresher course from an accredited Ontario provider.

There are 144 trades currently prescribed under skilled trades legislation in Ontario.

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