Building a Skilled Workforce in Northumberland-Peterborough South

Published on June 03, 2019

Government modernizing apprenticeship and skilled trades system


PORT HOPE, ON — Ontario is putting people first by helping tradespeople and employers better meet the needs of a rapidly changing economy through faster and easier access to the skills needed to find jobs in the skilled trades. As outlined in Ontario’s Budget 2019, the province is working to modernize the apprenticeship and skilled trades system to get employers the workers they need and get workers the training required for good quality, available jobs.


“Technology is changing Ontario’s economy and the skilled trades have to keep up,” said Ford. “We know we have talented potential workers in Ontario — providing the right training will make it easier to match talent with good jobs, help us grow the auto and manufacturing sector, and make Ontario open for business.”


Responding to the needs of Ontario businesses, the province will introduce portable skill sets to help speed up certification and training in the skilled trades, without compromising health and safety. Portable skill sets are a new competency-based system to provide workers and employers more flexibility. Currently, Ontario’s tradespeople are required to master the full scope of a trade to complete an apprenticeship and obtain certification.


“These changes will really make a difference for people in our community,” said David Piccini, MPP for Northumberland-Peterborough South. “We’re cutting red tape to help businesses create jobs. We know that over the next decade, Ontario needs to train over 100,000 skilled trades workers to meet demand. We are committed to addressing the skills gap and showing the next generation that the skilled trades are a good career choice with a bright future. And by improving access to apprenticeship training, we get more people on the way to good jobs.” 


Portable skill sets offer cross-skilling through the trades by letting apprentices, skilled tradespeople, and employers choose skills that they need for the jobs that are available today. With the new portable skill sets system, training, retraining and certifying workers in the specific skills needed for these opportunities will be more efficient than ever before.


“There are important and rewarding opportunities available in the skilled trades in Ontario,” said Fullerton. “We are listening to industry and tradespeople, and we know we need to get workers interested, trained and working faster. Portable skill sets will help us deliver on our promise to modernize the skilled trades and apprenticeship system, match people and training with good quality jobs, and grow our economy.”


Modernizing skilled trades and apprenticeship training is the next step in the government’s approach to closing the skills gap and making Ontario open for business and open for jobs.






  • About one in five new jobs in Ontario over the next five years is expected to be in trades-related occupations.
  • Ontario is investing $18.1 million in pre-apprenticeship programs that make Ontarians ready to work in the skilled trades. Applications for the 2019-20 programs will open June 7, 2019.
  • The province is also investing $12.2 million to support the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program, helping grade 11 and 12 students to gain experience in the skilled trades while getting credits for school.
  • Building a modern skills training system supports the government’s Housing Supply Action Plan by creating more opportunities for skilled workers to help tackle Ontario’s housing crisis and build more homes to meet the needs of people in every part of Ontario.
  • Job seekers can visit to get training, build their skills and access career information.



Backgrounder: Ontario Building a Skilled Workforce: Supports for Apprentices and New Governance Model

Backgrounder: Building a Skilled Workforce with Portable Skill Sets

Employers: Find out how to find and hire an apprentice

Workers and jobseekers: Become a skilled tradesperson through apprenticeship