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Modernizing apprenticeship system will help fix Ontario's job crisis

Media Release
Ontario PC Party

Modernizing apprenticeship system will help fix Ontario
Ontario is currently facing the paradox of having high unemployment at the same time as a growing shortage of skilled trades workers. Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak said today that modernizing Ontario's apprenticeship system is a practical solution that will help fix both problems by creating 200,000 new skilled trades jobs.
PHOTO CREDIT - 1310 News

Toronto - December 1, 2011 - Ontario is currently facing the paradox of having high unemployment at the same time as a growing shortage of skilled trades workers. Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak said today that modernizing Ontario's apprenticeship system is a practical solution that will help fix both problems by creating 200,000 new skilled trades jobs.

Ontario is losing 100 private-sector jobs every hour, contributing to a jobless rate that has remained above the national average for almost five years. At the same time, Ontario's shortage of skilled trades workers - from ironworkers to electricians to plumbers - is reaching an alarming level, and is expected to top one million vacancies within a decade.

The issue is Dalton McGuinty's refusal to modernize an outdated apprenticeship system that requires businesses to employ three, four or even five journeymen to train a single apprentice - a more restrictive ratio than almost all other provinces in Canada.

Hudak renewed his call today to reduce the ratio of journeymen to apprentices 1-to-1. Reducing the ratio frees up more journeymen to train more apprentices. Those apprentices eventually become journeymen themselves and train apprentices of their own - creating a job creation cycle that would see 200,000 new skilled tradesmen on the job in just four years.

"Only in Dalton McGuinty's Ontario could we be facing a jobs crisis and skilled labour crisis at the same time. Modernizing the apprenticeship system will help fix both problems by creating 200,000 new skilled trades jobs," said Tim Hudak, Ontario PC Leader.

"Yesterday, over 50 apprenticeship students attended Queen's Park, relating their problems in completing their programs, due to the 3:1 ratios. In fact, during the session, every one of them identified a classmate that had to move to Western Canada to finish their program. We need action now by this Liberal government to fix this ratio issue, address the huge shortage of trades people that is forecasted over the next 5 years and to create 200,000 new, high paying skilled jobs," said MPP Jim McDonell.

QUICK FACTS:
- The Ministry of Finance predicts that there will be over one million, skilled job vacancies by 2021.
- Under Dalton McGuinty's watch, Ontario is producing 46 per cent fewer skilled tradespeople (per capita) than the rest of Canada. Only 1 in 4 apprentices in Ontario complete their training.
- Most provinces already have lower apprenticeship ratios than Ontario: including: Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta.


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