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Ontario and Alberta Governments Collaborate to Enhance International Credential Recognition

CALGARY — In a significant move to boost the skilled labor force, the governments of Ontario and Alberta have announced a partnership to create a framework for international credential recognition and post-journeyperson certification. This initiative aims to reduce interprovincial barriers and streamline the credential recognition process, fostering greater labor mobility between the two provinces.

Addressing Labor Needs

Ontario is proactively seeking ways to integrate more apprentices into the trades and eliminate obstacles for internationally trained workers, addressing the local demand for skilled labor. Concurrently, Alberta aims to expand its list of recognized international credentials to bridge the skilled labor gap and fill positions in high-demand sectors.

“Ontario needs hundreds of thousands of additional skilled trades workers over the next decade to build homes, hospitals, and highways,” stated David Piccini, Ontario’s Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “Our collaboration with Alberta will help remove barriers for skilled workers, allowing them to fill in-demand jobs and contribute to building our communities.”

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

The MOU between Ontario and Alberta focuses on sharing expertise and exploring an international credential recognition framework for skilled trades. This framework aims to facilitate the process for internationally skilled workers to verify their credentials and take the certifying exam, enhancing labor mobility between the provinces.

“This agreement marks a significant step forward in addressing the skilled labor shortage in Alberta,” said Rajan Sawhney, Alberta’s Minister of Advanced Education. “By expanding our international credential recognition and collaborating with Ontario, we can attract more talented individuals and maintain a competitive and dynamic economy.”

Private Sector Collaboration

Industry and labor stakeholders have identified the need for post-journeyperson upgrading courses and certifications to meet the evolving needs of the Canadian economy. This partnership will help expand post-journeyperson certification offerings, supporting apprenticeship program graduates in upskilling and advancing their careers.

Role of Skilled Trades Ontario (STO)

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

New Legislation for Skilled Trades

Building on previous initiatives, the Ontario government is introducing new supports and stronger protections to open pathways into skilled trades and remove employment barriers. The proposed legislation aims to make the foreign credential system outcomes-oriented, requiring regulated professions to accept alternative documents when standard registration-related documents cannot be obtained due to circumstances beyond an applicant’s control, such as war or natural disasters. If passed, Ontario would be the first province in Canada to implement such legislation.

This partnership between Ontario and Alberta represents a forward-thinking approach to addressing skilled labor shortages and fostering economic growth through enhanced international credential recognition and mobility of skilled workers.

Samantha Deschamps

Samantha Deschamps serves as the Queens Park Reporter, offering insightful coverage of provincial politics with depth and accuracy. With a keen understanding of legislative intricacies, Deschamps provides invaluable perspectives on matters affecting Ontario. For inquiries or feedback, contact Samantha at samantha.deschamps@gtaweekly.ca.

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