Ontario Improving Apprenticeship System to Prepare Skilled Workforce for In-Demand Jobs

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Media Release


Province Releases Apprenticeship Strategy

Ontario is ensuring that the apprenticeship system meets the changing demands of the economy by giving apprentices the skills they need to succeed and providing employers with the talent they need to thrive.

Mitzie Hunter, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development, was joined by Ann Hoggarth, MPP for Barrie, at the United Association in Barrie today to release Ontario's new Apprenticeship Strategy.

The province is improving the apprenticeship system by building on its current strengths. The goal is to develop a system that provides end-to-end supports for apprentices and employers and responds to the needs of a changing economy and workforce.

The multi-year strategy will: 

  • Create better incentives for employers to train and retain apprentices by transforming the existing Apprenticeship Training Tax Credit into the Graduated Apprenticeship Grant for Employers
  • Promote apprenticeship as a valuable postsecondary pathway and help individuals make informed decisions about their career options by providing valuable information about different careers leading from an apprenticeship through Ontario's labour market website
  • Update the apprenticeship system through digital enhancements, including a simplified online registration process
  • Develop recommendations on how to ensure students in the K-12 system are prepared for, exposed to and aware of career opportunities in the skilled trades
  • Enhance services that support apprentices to begin and complete their training, including increasing the participation of young people and underrepresented groups in the skilled trades.

Improving the apprenticeship system is part of Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.



" Completing an apprenticeship can set you up for a great future. Ontario’s apprentices deserve a system that opens opportunities, connects them with good jobs and helps them gain the skills needed to succeed in the workforce. That’s why we’re launching Ontario’s Apprenticeship Strategy, a vision we share with our apprenticeship partners and the many people looking to learn new skills and start an exciting career in the trades."
- Mitzie Hunter
Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development

" Working in the skilled trades is an empowering, rewarding experience — so we want to make sure every person who wants to become a tradesperson has the support to do so. This strategy is client-focused, and begins to move us towards a pathway that will increase the successful completions of apprenticeships. We’re happy to have been a partner in the strategy's development, and will continue to work with government to ensure the apprenticeship system evolves to meet the needs of the changing labour market."
- George Gritziotis
CEO and Registrar of the Ontario College of Trades

" I became an apprentice to gain the skills to put myself on a path towards a good career and a good life. Apprenticeships are so important because you can gain skills and ‘earn while you learn,’ providing for oneself and one’s family. I’m glad to see this strategy put the apprentice’s experience at the center and use new technologies to support apprentices throughout their journey."
- Trisha Ward
Plumbing Apprentice, Mapleridge Mechanical, Member of United Association of Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 46



  • Ontario invested $160.6 million in apprenticeship programs in 2016-17. An estimated $128.8 million was also provided to employers through the Apprenticeship Training Tax Credit in 2016-17.
  • Ontario’s Apprenticeship Strategy was developed following extensive engagement with partners in the apprenticeship system from across the province.
  • There were 25,000 active employer sponsors in 2016-17.
  • New annual apprenticeship registrations have grown from 17,100 in 2002-03 to 24,800 in 2016-17.
  • Approximately 9,800 Certificates of Apprenticeship have been issued annually over the past three years.