A recent Dawson Strategic report on modernizing Ontario’s skilled trades and apprenticeship program highlights some of the challenges facing the construction industry outside the greater Toronto area.
One problem, said Dawson, is that the Ontario College of Trades – a regulatory body established in 2009 – requires compulsory certification for certain trades, which limits the number of people who can enter them.
While crane operators aren’t in high demand in Sudbury, Dawson said the province is expected to be short the 200 to 500 of the tradesmen by 2020.
Most crane operators, she said, are in their 60s, and because the trade requires compulsory certification, the province only graduates 30 crane operators per year – through a single training centre administered by a union.
“We couldn’t find any correlation between having more licensing and having higher safety or better outcomes,” Dawson said.
Removing compulsory certification for some trades would help address the labour shortage, she said.