City short 1,000 skilled tradespeople
Pictured left: Garfield Dunlop, the MPP for Simcoe North and the Progressive Conservatives' apprenticeship reform critic, along with Paula Peroni, the Progressive Conservatives' candidate in Nickel Belt in the last provincial election, went on a tour of Mansour Mining Technologies Inc. July 17. Photo by Heidi Ulrichsen.
Milad Mansour said he's a great believer in apprenticeship.
Right now, his Sudbury-based company, Mansour Mining Technologies Inc., is helping about 15 apprentices learn their trades through on-the-job training.
The trouble is there's such a shortage of skilled tradespeople in Greater Sudbury right now that the city's two large mining companies often “steal” his apprentices by offering them better pay and benefits, Mansour said.
In the long-term, the only thing that will solve this problem is to train more apprentices so the shortage doesn't exist, Mansour said.
Garfield Dunlop, the Progressive Conservative MPP for Simcoe North and the critic for apprenticeship reform, said he has a few ideas about how to end the skilled tradesperson shortage.
Along with Paula Peroni, the Progressive Conservatives' candidate in Nickel Belt in the last provincial election, Dunlop toured Mansour's business July 17. The MPP is visiting a number of communities this summer as he prepares to write a policy paper for his party on apprenticeship.
In Dunlop's opinion, the rules surrounding apprenticeships in Ontario is making the shortage of skilled tradespeople worse.
In most of the country, companies are allowed to have as many apprentices as they have skilled tradespeople. However, in Ontario, companies must have three skilled tradespeople for every apprentice they have, which limits the amount of people they can train.
“Right now, we're in the dark ages compared to the rest of the country,” Dunlop said, adding that he's been hearing complaints about the apprenticeship ratio system from businesspeople across the province.
This problem is even more pronounced in the Greater Sudbury area because of the boom in the mining industry, he said. Dunlop said he learned from Mayor Marianne Matichuk that the city is currently short about 1,000 skilled tradespeople......