Changes aim to ease job hunt

PC min­is­ter un­veils ap­pren­tice­ship moves aimed at mak­ing On­tario more com­pet­i­tive

The Observer (Sarnia) - - NEWS - NEWS

Chang­ing how ap­pren­tices are taught will make it eas­ier for young peo­ple in the skilled trades to get jobs, On­tario In­fra­struc­ture Min­is­ter Monte McNaughton says.

The Lambton-Kent-Mid­dle­sex Tory MPP un­veiled the changes Fri­day dur­ing a visit to CCR Build­ing and Re­mod­elling in London’s Hyde Park district.

The amend­ments to 2009’s On­tario Col­lege of Trades and Ap­pren­tice­ship Act would lower the jour­neyper­son to ap­pren­tice­ship ra­tio to a sim­ple 1:1.

The cur­rent ra­tio regime lim­its the num­ber of ap­pren­tices an em­ployer can train, a min­istry re­lease said.

This will help make On­tario more com­pet­i­tive, McNaughton said.

“One in five new jobs here in On­tario will be trades-re­lated,” he said. “Yet there is a prob­lem — em­ploy­ers can­not find ap­pren­tices and ap­pren­tices are un­able to find jobs. Our com­mit­ment is clear: If you are pre­pared to the work, then you de­serve a shot at the job.”

CCR’s Peter Mad­sen said the changes will have a “sig­nif­i­cant im­pact across On­tario” and let him hire more of the ap­pren­tices his firm em­ploys.

McNaughton billed the changes as part of Premier Doug Ford’s push to make On­tario open for busi­ness by re­duc­ing red tape.

Last week, Ford un­veiled “Open for Busi­ness” signs at a Sar­nia-area bor­der cross­ing with eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment min­is­ter Jim Wil­son, who quit cab­i­net and cau­cus hours later, spark­ing Mon­day’s cab­i­net shuf­fle. Ford’s of­fice ini­tially said Wil­son left to deal with “ad­dic­tion is­sues,” but Ford later con­firmed me­dia re­ports the Sim­coe-Grey MPP faced a sex­ual mis­con­duct al­le­ga­tion.

Ear­lier Fri­day, McNaughton vis­ited a new OPP com­mu­ni­ca­tion cen­tre go­ing up on Ex­eter Road.

“This is a very im­por­tant project for peo­ple in South­west­ern On­tario,” he said. “This po­lice com­mu­ni­ca­tion cen­tre re­ceives about 1,000 calls ev­ery day, many of them emer­gen­cies, so it is im­por­tant we en­sure that the proper in­fra­struc­ture is in place.”

The more-than 30,000 sq. ft., $14-mil­lion fa­cil­ity is ex­pected to be up and run­ning by next Oc­to­ber. It will triple the com­mu­ni­ca­tions cen­tre’s ca­pac­ity, so provin­cial po­lice can use it as a backup for its four other cen­tres across the prov­ince.

JONATHAN JUHA/POST­MEDIA

Carmelo Ser­rentino, left, se­nior site su­per­in­ten­dent with con­struc­tion ser­vices firm Stu­ar­tOl­son, up­dates In­fra­struc­ture Min­is­ter Monte McNaughton Fri­day on progress on the $14-mil­lion OPP com­mu­ni­ca­tions cen­tre go­ing up on Ex­eter Road in London.

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