(St. Thomas) — Today, Garfield Dunlop, MPP for Simcoe North and PC Critic for Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Reform met with a number of skilled tradespeople at the St. Thomas Chamber of Commerce tohear their concerns related to skilled trades.He was joined by Jeff Yurek, MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London.
Among the issues discussed were the apprenticeship system, compulsory certification, proposed membership fees for tradespeople and employers and the College of Trades.
At a time when Ontario is experiencing a job crisis and a shortage of skilled trades, the McGuinty Liberals continue to put up road blocks, such as the new controversial membership fees soon to be imposed by the College of Trades on hard working tradespeople, and their decision not to change apprenticeship ratios.
In May, Dunlop introduced a Private Members’ Bill, Helping Ontarians Enter Skilled Trades Act, 2012. Currently businesses must employ three or four journeymen to train a single apprentice. Dunlop’s bill would create new apprenticeship jobs by reducing the ratio of journeymen to apprentices to 1-to-1.
MPP Dunlop, who himself is a plumber, has long championed skilled trades. He continues to advocate for reforms to the current skilled trades system to help create more jobs in Ontario.
“The desire to work in the skilled trades is all around us, including right here in St. Thomas. Garfield and I will continue to work with stakeholders and advocate for appropriate changes to our current skilled trades system to remove barriers and help create more jobs in Ontario.”
– Jeff Yurek, MPP, Elgin-Middlesex-London
“Throughout my tour I have heard concerns about the McGuinty Liberals’ new trade’s tax which will be imposed on the backs of hard working tradespeople rather than taking needed action for job creation. Ontarians are slowly learning that the College of Trades is a huge boondoggle. Not only do these fees need to be scrapped so does the College of Trades.”
– Garfield Dunlop, MPP, Critic for Skilled Trades for Apprenticeship Reform
The Ontario 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.