Apprenticeship training and trade certification system is legislated in Ontario. Historically, one legislation, the Trades Qualification and Apprenticeship Act (TQAA) 1964 applied to all trades. The Ontario government has recently undertaken an initiative to reform the apprenticeship system. The goals of the apprenticeship reform initiative include:
- a system that contributes to economic growth and job creation
- expansion of the apprenticeship model of skills training to new occupations and new areas of economic growth ie. information technology
- greater ownership by industry and system stakeholders
- a more transparent framework that is flexible and responsive to training needs of industry
- increased participation by youth
The highlight of these reforms is the new Apprenticeship and Certification Act (ACA) 1998, the first new piece of apprenticeship legislation since the Trades Qualification and Apprenticeship Act (TQAA) was introduced in 1964. This new ACA legislation came into effect in January 2000 and applies to the service, automotive, and manufacturing/industrial sectors, representing approximately 100 trades. At the request of the construction sector, the TQAA continues to apply to the all construction trades, approximately 30 in total.
The two different legislations have resulted in two different models. The focus of the new legislation, ACA, is on the conditions and nature of the training. The ACA emphasizes the completion of skills sets as prescribed by industry representatives of the particular trades. In this respect, the new legislation is viewed as a competency-based model which differs from the time-based model of the TQAA. The following highlights the differences between the two models:
- governed by the Apprenticeship and Certification Act (ACA) since January 2000
- applies to all Industrial, Service and Motive Power Trades
- Policy and Guidelines for specific trades or groups of trades are under review / development
- apprenticeship contract is called a Training Agreement
- sponsor refers to the trainer, who may or may not be the apprentice's employer
- minimum age of 16
- completion of academic and training standards as prescribed by affiliated Industry Committees
- grade 12 minimum if no standard is prescribed
- governed by the Trades Qualification and Apprenticeship Act (TQAA)
- applies to all Construction trades
- apprenticeship contract is called Contract of Apprenticeship
- employer refers to the company who has entered into a contract of apprenticeship and has agreed to provide wages and training by a qualified trainer
- minimum age of 16
Under both legislations, serving an apprenticeship has varying designations.
- Under the TQAA which applies to construction trades only, 6 of the 30 trades are designated as compulsory; only registered apprentices or licensed (certified) journeypersons may practice in that trade.
- Compulsory trades under the TQAA include: Construction Maintenance Electrician, Hoisting Engineer, Plumber, Refrigeration and Air- Conditioning Mechanic, Sheet Metal Worker, and Steamfitter.
- For certain trades regulated under the ACA, only registered apprentices or licensed (certified) journeypersons may practice in that trade.
- Examples of restricted trades under the ACA include: Automotive Service Technician, Auto Body Repairer, Truck & Coach Technician, Hairstylist.
Voluntary (TQAA) or Non-Restricted (ACA) Trades Designations
- under both legislations, one can legally work in the trade without being registered or licensed
- examples include: Tool & Die Maker, Mould Maker, General Machinist, Cook, Baker, Horticulturist
Certificates are issued at the completion of apprenticeship training and are as follows:
Certificate of Apprenticeship (College Diploma)
- shows that an apprentice has successfully completed the in-school and on the job requirements
- under the ACA trades, it is issued when the above requirements are met
- under the TQAA, it is issued when the above requirements are met as well as passing the Government written exam
Certificate of Qualification
- shows that an apprentice has passed the Government exam (where applicable)
- under ACA and TQAA trades, it is issued once the exam is passed
- this certificate is also awarded if no exam is available
You should also become familiar with the following common trade terms:
- Skill set: one or more skills
- Restricted Skill set: a skill set that is designated as a restricted skill set by the regulations in TQAA and by Policy or Guidelines in ACA
- Apprentice (under ACA): an individual who has entered into a Registered Training Agreement under which the individual is to receive workplace-based training in a trade, other occupation, or skill set as part of an apprenticeship program
- Apprentice (under TQAA): a person who is at least 16 years of age and who has entered into a contract under which the person is to receive from or through his or her employer, training and instruction in a trade
- Trade specific training standards: refers to the book that contains the on-the-job skill sets The TQAA and ACA have similar components but with differing terminology. The table below cross references important terms that will help you understand the terminology used in the ACA and the TQAA.
- Sponsor (ACA): a person who has entered into a Registered Training Agreement under which is required to ensure that the apprentice is provided with workplace-based training in a trade as part of an apprenticeship program; qualified trainer does not have to be in their employ
- Employer: (TQAA) a company who has entered into a contract of apprenticeship with an apprentice and is agreeing to provide wages and training; qualified trainer must be in their employ
||to work in a trade licensed under "restricted" or "compulsory", one must be a registered apprentice or journeyperson
||refers to trades that do not require being a registered apprentice or licensed journeyperson
|Contract of Apprenticeship
||Registered Training Agreement
||an agreement registered under which the employer or sponsor agrees to train and instruct the apprentice
|Provincial Advisory Committees
||comprised of industry representatives who advise the Minister with respect to apprenticeship programs