Durham College applauds Ontario budget commitment to modernize apprenticeship training

The 2019 Ontario Budget commitment to create a one-window digital portal for apprentices will produce a more highly qualified workforce, Ontario’s colleges said today.

“This will ensure more people enrol in apprenticeship training,” said Don Lovisa, president, Durham College (DC). “It will produce more apprentices to help Ontario close the skills gap.”

The current application system is awash in red tape. There is no clear application process and many people seeking to become apprentices find it difficult to get matched with willing employers.

The creation of a one-window portal will make the application process straightforward and easily accessible. Ontario’s colleges are eager to support the efforts to create this new portal.

“The government clearly recognizes it should be as easy for students to apply to be apprentices as it is to apply to any other college or university program,” Lovisa said. “Modernizing our apprenticeship system will help make it one of the best in the world.”

Other budget highlights to produce a stronger workforce included:

  • Establishing programs to encourage people to enter the skilled trades.
  • Launching a new micro-credentials pilot this spring to provide people with the skills employers are seeking.

DC is known for its skilled trades and welcomes new programs that encourage young people to enter technical and trade-related programs at the apprenticeship and post-secondary levels.  “Our current plans to expand the Whitby campus to provide new capacity to welcome over 700 additional students into skilled trades,” said Lovisa. This expansion will focus on high-priority industries as well as trades like electricians and millwrights, and emerging areas such as boilermakers, all of which have been identified as being in high-demand.

DC also offers micro-credentials in a number of areas and looks forward to opportunities to expand this growing trend that recognizes specific skills and knowledge necessary for success in many careers.

“College education is pivotal to Ontario’s success and to ensuring more people find rewarding careers,” said Lovisa. “We look forward to working with the government to helping more people acquire the expertise that is essential to success in this new economy.”