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Ontario Chamber of Commerce Encouraged by New Trade Classification Process Recommended by Tony Dean Review

TORONTO, ON, November 20th, 2015: The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) is encouraged by the findings of the Dean Review and is calling on government to engage with employers as it implements the recommendations outlined in the final report. Among its recommendations, the Review calls on the College of Trades to establish an independent panel to review classification decisions.

“We welcome the Dean Review’s recommendation to establish a new independent process for trade classification,” said Allan O’Dette, President & CEO of the OCC. “The use of independent experts should ensure a strong and clear process that would yield lasting, credible decisions – decisions that are free from interference.”

Earlier this year, the OCC, together with chambers of commerce and boards of trade from across the province, outlined its concerns with the College of Trades in a formal submission to the Dean Review. The OCC noted that in its current form, the College of Trades is not positioned to deliver on many elements of its mandate. Specifically, the OCC expressed its concerns with the bias inherent in the College’s trade classification review process.

“The Dean Review’s findings are the first of many necessary steps towards reform,” said O’Dette. “Going forward, the College needs to put a laser-like focus on promotion of the skilled trades among the province’s youth. Currently, nearly one in three employers are unable to fill a job because they cannot find someone with the right qualifications. That gap must be filled.”

The OCC also noted that it will continue to press government on its members’ concerns around journeyperson-to-apprentice ratios and the ratio review panel process. While the OCC is encouraged by the Dean Review’s recommendation that review panels be able to request their own evidence and research, it continues to express concern over Ontario’s high journeyperson-to-apprentice ratios, which it says exacerbate the province’s skills gap.

The Government of Ontario has committed to introduce legislation in the spring that would enact Mr. Dean’s recommendations. The OCC has committed to working with the government and organizations like the Ontario Skilled Trades Alliance to ensure that legislative changes reflect the concerns of the employer community.

Learn more about the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.

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Media Contact:
Rachel Strong
Senior Communications Advisor
T. 416.482.5222 ext. 2470
E: rachelstrong@occ.ca

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