Conestoga news

June 13, 2013 12:05 PM

Ontario College of Trades talks about apprenticeships

Conestoga Program Advisory and Consortia Committee members met at Conestoga’s Information and Engineering Technology campus in Cambridge on Wednesday, June 5 to hear about the new rules, regulations and opportunities around apprenticeships in Ontario.

Held by the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT), the information session was developed to answer questions about changes to the way apprenticeships work in Ontario. Originally handled by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU), much of the responsibility for overseeing apprenticeships has now been transferred to OCOT, which will administer the licensing, standards and curriculum for apprentices and journeypersons in Ontario. OCOT will also be responsible for awarding certification to journeypersons across Ontario.

Providing up-to-date information to industry leaders and faculty is part of Conestoga’s commitment to leadership in apprenticeship training. The college is the among Ontario’s top providers of such training, serving approximately 4000 apprenticeship students each year.

According to Stephen Speers, chair of the Trades & Apprenticeship program at Conestoga, the meeting was also important because it brought together representatives from throughout the trades industry to provide input to OCOT. OCOT.jpg

“This group represents a broad cross-section of trades that the OCOT doesn’t often hear from,” said Speers. “These professionals are posing beneficial questions that could help shape the program moving forward.”

Speers says the switchover from MTCU to OCOT is still evolving, and that keeping all the stakeholders informed leads to positive growth and transparency.

“It is a huge shift for the entire system,” said Speers. “Questions being asked here could form a basis for shaping the program moving forward.”

Speers says that as the program grows, there will be more opportunities for individuals to give good feedback and help to continue shaping the program.

Conestoga delivers apprenticeship training in a variety of areas including the construction, motive power, industrial and service sectors. Partnering with local, national and international companies has allowed Conestoga to offer current and relevant skills-based training that gives graduates access to successful careers in the skilled trades.