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Ontario and Alberta partner to create more opportunities for internationally trained skilled workers

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July 8, 2024
By Talent Canada


The governments of Ontario and Alberta are supporting a framework for collaboration on international credential recognition and post-journeyperson certification.

This partnership will put Canadian workers first by reducing interprovincial barriers and red tape for credential recognition and encourage the flow of labour between Ontario and Alberta. Ontario is seeking ways to open pathways into the trades for more apprentices and remove barriers for internationally trained workers to fill in-demand labour needs locally. At the same time, Alberta is looking to expand its list of international credentials to address gaps in the skilled labour market and fill openings in high-demand fields.

“Ontario needs hundreds of thousands of additional skilled trades workers over the next decade to build homes, hospitals and highways,” said David Piccini, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “Working together with Alberta, we’re sharing knowledge and expertise on international credential recognition, removing barriers to skilled workers filling in-demand jobs and building our communities.”

Under the memorandum of understanding (MOU), the provinces will work together to share expertise and information and explore an international credential recognition framework for skilled trades that will enhance this process and support mobility between these jurisdictions. A common framework could lead to more internationally skilled workers with verified credentials to write the certifying exam.

“This agreement marks a significant step forward in addressing the skilled labour shortage in Alberta,” said Rajan Sawhney, Alberta’s Minister of Advanced Education. “By expanding our international credential recognition and working with our partners in the Government of Ontario, we can welcome more talented individuals and ensure our economy remains competitive and dynamic.”

Private sector industry and labour stakeholders have identified a need for post-journeyperson upgrading courses and credentials to meet the evolving needs of the Canadian economy. This partnership between Alberta and Ontario will help expand offerings of post-journeyperson certifications to support graduates of apprenticeship programs in upskilling and achieving pathways to further their career prospects.

In Ontario, Skilled Trades Ontario (STO), a government agency, is responsible for assessing whether the experience and qualifications obtained by applicants for an Ontario certificate of qualification are equivalent to those received through completing an Ontario apprenticeship program. Skilled Trades Ontario’s Trade Equivalency Assessment is the first step towards obtaining a Certificate of Qualification for experienced workers who have not completed an Ontario apprenticeship but who have equivalent skills and experience.

The Ontario government is advancing from its previous four Working for Workers acts by introducing new first-in-Canada supports and even stronger protections that would open pathways into the skilled trades and remove barriers to employment. This would be done by making the foreign credential system outcomes-oriented by requiring regulated professions to have a policy to accept alternatives where standard registration-related documents cannot be obtained for reasons beyond an applicant’s control, such as war or natural disasters. If passed, Ontario would be the first province in Canada to have this legislation.

The MOU will be reviewed in 18 months.


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