March 20, 2012
Ontario College of Trades allows industry to be in charge of own destiny: Guthrie
The Ontario College of Trades is a “great opportunity” for the trades in the province to be in charge of their own destiny, says a College top official.
Bob Guthrie, Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT), recently moved from Saskatchewan, a province which he said put industry in charge of apprenticeship training and the certification process a few years ago.
“Ontario, it seems to me, is building on what was done elsewhere and has gone a bit further.
“I think it’s a great idea to let the people who are most directly affected by the decisions, that are made within the apprenticeship training and certification system, essentially regulate that system.”
Guthrie served seven years as the Chief Executive Officer of the Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission. He has nearly 30 years of experience working with trades and apprenticeship, as well as an extensive knowledge of industry standards and labour market needs.
OCOT is a self-regulated body that was legislated in 2009 and was formed as a response to one of the recommendations suggested in the 2008 Compulsory Certification Project Review by Tim Armstrong . Its mandate includes building the professional profile of the skilled trades and promoting the trades to young people.
Guthrie said the skilled trades, along with every other sector, are competing for the hearts and minds of young people and OCOT will help with that task.
“I think that there are great opportunities for young people,” he said.
“We’ve done some research in other jurisdictions that indicate that people that have a journeyperson’s certification in a skilled career have high rates of employment, have a lot of job satisfaction and have high job security and good incomes. It seems to me that’s an important message to tell young people.”
OCOT recently took a significant step forward by setting its ratio review schedule, with the first group’s review this April. Guthrie said he hopes the College will open its doors and begin enrolling members on Jan. 1, 2013.
The ratio review process is legislated to take 120 days though there is a provision to extend if necessary. All written submissions will be posted on OCOT’s website. This is followed by a hearing where the panel listens to oral submissions. The panel will then make a decision and provide it to the Board of Governors.
A coalition of construction employers once called for the complete overhaul or abolition of the College, citing issues over the governance structure, transparency and its perceived union bias.
Guthrie said OCOT has made a commitment to an open and transparent process with the ratio reviews.
“Anyone who is interested will be invited to make a submission to the review process. Everyone will be able to see what all of the stakeholders have to say about the process.”
There about eight or 10 significant projects that need to be completed before the College can open its doors, said Guthrie, including developing an IT system to enroll members.
They are also looking at the governance structure of the institution. Between the Board of Governors, Roster of Adjudicators, divisional boards and trade boards, there are several hundred people involved in the governance structure.
“They are the subject matter experts in many cases. It’s a large group, but it really represents very broadly all of the stakeholders in the College,” said Guthrie.
The Association of Consulting Engineering Companies of British Columbia celebrated its best and brightest at its Awards of Excellence gala, held on April 12 at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
As the Ontario College of Trades celebrates its first anniversary, the regulator body is still a point of contention among several in the province’s skilled trades community.
In this week's preview, we look at some of the stories we'll be covering in the Journal of Commerce for the week of April 21st, 2014.
RDH Building Engineering Limited is running extensive tests on the viability of using insulated concrete forms (ICF) as walls in building structures. While ICF has traditionally been used below grade, it is becoming possible to also use forms for above-grade work.
In this week's preview, we look at some of the stories we'll be covering in the Journal of Commerce for the week of April 14th, 2014.
The British Columbia Common Ground Alliance held a contractor's breakfast on April 1 to highlight the importance of excavation awareness and to ring in "National Safe Digging Month."
In this week's preview, we look at some of the stories we'll be covering in the Journal of Commerce for the week of April 7th, 2014.
Infrastructure Ontario (IO) and Host Kilmer Services Centre have teamed up to redevelop 20 service centres along Highways 400 and 401.
Canadian Construction Innovations (CCInnovations) aims to lead and facilitate the discussion on innovation within the construction industry.