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College of Trades releases apprenticeship ratio reviews


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October 1, 2012 by On-Site staff

The Ontario College of Trades has published its first grouping of apprenticeship ratio review reports.

Group A reports looked at journeyperson to apprentice ratios for the following compulsory trades: 

Group A – 1: Floor covering installer

Group A – 2: Hoisting engineers

Group A – 3: Precast concrete erector/finisher

Group A – 4: Cement concrete finisher/cement mason

To download any of the complete Group A 1-4 ratio review reports, click here.

The following are brief summaries of each of the ratio review reports:

Group A – 1: Floor covering installer (RR1-2012)

The review panel, chaired by Lee Shouldice, concluded that the current ratio of one journeyperson to one apprentice (1:1) does not allow for adequate on-the-job training of apprentices in the health and safety aspects of the trade. Therefore, the panel has decided that the appropriate ratio for floor covering installers is two journeyperson for every one apprentice (2:1).

Since the OCOT do not have an apprenticeship program for these trades in place, the panel stated that current existing standards of the Ministry of Training, College and Universities (MTCU) for apprenticeship programs would remain in effect.

Group A – 2: Hoisting engineers (RR2-2012)

Apprenticeship ratios for the hoisting engineers group, which consists of: mobile crane operators (Branch 1 and 2) and tower crane operators, were left at the current 1:1 journeyperson to apprentice ratio.

The review panel, chaired by Bernard Fishbein, concluded that the current ratios provide the “optimal degree of training and transfer of knowledge” and that any changes could negatively impact the health and safety of workers, potentially increasing job site accidents.

The panel also stated that no shortages of apprentices and journeypersons are being created by the 1:1 ratio on these hoisting engineers trades.

The following are the current journeyperson and apprenticeship numbers for the hoisting engineers group:

Mobile Crane Operator-339 A; Branch 1:
3,166 active journeypersons and 349 active apprentices

Mobile Crane Operator-339 C; Branch 2:
1,212 active journeypersons and 129 active apprentices

Tower Crane Operator-339B; Branch 3:
1,150 active journeypersons and 107 active apprentices

Since the OCOT do not have an apprenticeship program for these trades in place, the panel stated that current existing standards of the Ministry of Training, College and Universities (MTCU) for apprenticeship programs would remain in effect.

Group A – 3: Precast concrete erector/finisher (RR3-2012)
The precast concrete erector/finisher group was also spared a ratio change, despite a written submission from the Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) to increase the number of apprentices.

An additional written submission was submitted by the Labourers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA), which was opposed to a change in current ratios.

The review panel, chaired by David McKee, concluded that both parties provided “thoughtful input” and addressed relevant issues in the trade, but neither party offered significant objective data.

The panel concluded that since the ratio has been in place since 1990, and the review was created as part of OCOT’s process for establishing oversight and not in response to a perceived problem, that it would be considered appropriate to change the ratios until the panel receives evidence that proves otherwise.

The evidence would need to cast doubt on one or more criteria within subsection 9(2) paragraph 7 of O. Reg. 458/11.

Group A – 4: Cement concrete finisher/cement mason (RR4-2012)
The review panel, chaired by McKee, concluded that changes should be made to the apprenticeship ratios for the cement concrete finisher/cement mason group.

After reviewing submissions submitted by the OHBA, LIUNA Local 527, and the Cement Finishing Labour Relations Association (CFLRA), the panel concluded that none of the submissions explained the origins of the ratios of the cement concrete finisher or cement mason group; or what the distinction is between the two trades.

The review report states that no submissions were submitted that addressed the cement mason trade; therefore:

It is likely that the distinction between the two trades in the field has been significantly eroded. It certainly makes it difficult to understand why the ratio should not be the same for both.
                                                                                                                                                     “Review Panel Decision RR4-2012,” p. 5

The panel decided that the ratio for both the cement (concrete) finisher and cement mason should be:

 (a) where the employer is a journeyperson in the trade, one apprentice, plus one apprentice for the first journeyperson employed, plus an additional apprentice for each additional three journeypersons employed by the employer in that trade and with whom the apprentice is working; or

(b) where the employer is not a journeyperson in the trade, one apprentice for each of the first two journeypersons employed by the employer plus an additional apprentice for each additional three journeypersons employed by the employer in that trade and with whom the apprentice is working.
                                                                                                                                                     “Review Panel Decision RR4-2012,” p. 12

Source: Ontario College of Trades.

 


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