By Editor

Mar 10, 2023

Upcoming Events:

OCSTA 93rd AGM & Conference


To register for the OCSTA 2023 AGM and Conference click here

To download the Conference program click here


Human Rights Program for Catholic School Board Leaders:

Please see below the SAVE THE DATE flyer which provides dates for the upcoming Program in Human Rights for Catholic School Board Leaders, a program designed for Trustees in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and the trustee associations to inform its design and delivery.

This program will consist of two sessions (May 13 and May 23 as detailed below) – additional details will be provided when available.


 Ontario Government News Release


Ontario Helping More Students Enter the Skilled Trades Faster

Grade 11 students can soon apprentice full-time and still earn their high-school diploma

March 08, 2023
Premier’s Office

TORONTO — The Ontario government is preparing young people for in-demand and well-paying careers by allowing students in grade 11 to transition to a full-time, skilled trades apprenticeship program. Upon receiving their Certificate of Apprenticeship, these young workers can apply for their Ontario Secondary School Diploma as mature students. At a time when the province continues to face historic labour shortages, this change means that more students will be able to enter the trades faster than ever before to help build Ontario.

“These changes provide students with exciting pathways to good-paying jobs and rewarding careers and support our government’s ongoing work to attract more young people into the skilled trades,” said Premier Doug Ford. “Whether it’s enhancing trades education in our schools, breaking down barriers for newcomers or upskilling workers, we’re leaving no stone unturned to train the skilled workforce that will build Ontario.”

In the construction sector alone, 72,000 new workers are needed by 2027 to fill open positions because of retirements and expected job growth. To help deliver the province’s infrastructure plans, including building 1.5 million homes by 2031, more people are needed in the skilled trades.

“For far too long, parents and students have been told the only path to succeed in life is by going to university, which is simply not true,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “When you have a career in the skilled trades, you have a career for life. Our government will continue to provide students with the tools they need to land well-paying and life-long careers.”

Additionally, the government will begin consultations in fall 2023 with employers, unions, education stakeholders, trainers, parents, and others about ways to make it even easier for young people to enter a career in the trades. This includes the potential of lowering entry requirements for some of the 106 skilled trades that currently require a grade 12-level education.

“To ensure all students can get ahead in this province, we are accelerating pathways from high school to apprenticeship learning and ultimately, a career in the skilled trades,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. “Our government’s mission is to fill the skills gap by better connecting Ontario students to these good-paying jobs, helping many students who may not have graduated, now gain a credential that leads them to meaningful employment.”

Quick Facts

  • The Ministry of Education is working to recognize up to 30 credits required to earn the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) for individuals with a Certificate of Apprenticeship or equivalent.
  • It takes between two to five years to complete an apprenticeship.
  • 1.2 million people are working in Ontario’s skilled trades. Many of them are set to retire over the coming years.
  • There are over 140 skilled trades in Ontario.
  • Recently, there were nearly 285,000 jobs in Ontario going unfilled, while about one in five job openings in Ontario are projected to be in the skilled trades by 2026.
  • Since 2020, Ontario has invested nearly $1 billion to make it easier to learn a trade, breaking the stigma, attracting youth, simplifying the system, and encouraging employer participation.


“Young Ontarians who are contemplating their future career options should know that working in the construction trades by starting a registered apprenticeship on track towards becoming a Journeyperson can offer a lifetime of opportunity and prosperity. Meeting growing demand for skilled construction labour in order to secure Ontario’s housing and infrastructure needs will demand better attraction and retention of apprentices. Jobsite health and safety is best ensured through apprenticeship training and today’s announcement can bring us a step closer towards securing the next generation of safe and productive construction trades professionals.”

– Marc Arsenault
Business Manager and Secretary-Treasurer – Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario

“Today’s announcement is a step forward in our collaborative efforts to strengthen opportunities for Ontario’s workforce. Through early exposure to the trades, our future generation of industry leaders and community builders have an opportunity to earn while they learn, obtaining hands on, innovative skills that will empower strong careers in the industry. On behalf of LiUNA, we look forward to continue working with the government of Ontario, industry and education partners throughout the consultation period, working strategically to modernize our apprenticeship system and advance opportunities for a workforce that our province, economy and industry rely on.”

– Victoria Mancinelli
LiUNA Director Public Relations, Marketing, Strategic Partnerships

“Skills Ontario applauds the government for its continued investment in building Ontario’s workforce of the future. This latest initiative will support and help young people after grade 10 to better enter an apprenticeship to start their career. With enormous and growing skills shortages, it is imperative that we continue to introduce innovative solutions and pathways that will assist young people who are interested in careers in the skilled trades.”

– Ian Howcroft
CEO of Skills Ontario

“Today’s announcement further highlights the provincial government’s commitment to promoting careers in the skilled trades. By allowing students after grade 10 to pursue apprenticeship opportunities is a clear signal to both students and parents that a career in the skilled trades is a career for life. Over the next decade, Ontario’s housing, transit, and infrastructure objectives will be built by those beginning their apprenticeship journey today.”

– Steven Crombie
Chair, Ontario Skilled Trades Alliance

“This is an important step to enable emerging skilled trades people to embark on their journey into the trades. Landscape Ontario is proud to support this tremendous move to further develop a larger workforce.”

– Joe Salemi
Executive Director, Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association

“The new ‘Grade 10 to Apprenticeship Pathway’ announcement by Minister McNaughton, Minister Lecce and the Ontario Government will help thousands of clients we serve, most of whom are barriered youth. The trades are not only an ‘in-demand’ opportunity but provides a well-paying long term career. We are so pleased that the government continues to invest in Ontario’s future through our youth and innovative programs like this.”

– Timothy Lang
President and CEO, Youth Employment Services

“My Name is Austin Richard and I finished Grade 10 of my high school. YES – Youth Employment Services has been helping me and they just told me about this astonishing news from the government of Ontario. This will create more career paths for youth that are looking to develop their skills in the trades. PAC is an amazing program, especially for youth such as myself who seek employment in trades and haven’t completed high school as it helps with employment and the completion of your high school.”

– Austin Richard
Grade 10, Youth Employment Services Client

“The Grade 10 to Apprenticeship Pathway is a bold step towards building a successful career. By combining academic learning with hands-on experience, apprenticeship allows young people to develop valuable skills, earn money, and gain a sense of pride in their work. It’s a pathway that opens doors to endless opportunities and empowers young people to shape their own future.”

– Jeff Johnson
Chief Executive Officer, Fernie Youth Services

“Merit Ontario applauds Ministers McNaughton and Lecce for this much-needed initiative. The labour shortage in the skilled trades can only be addressed by ending the stigma and ensuring a path for young people to enter the trades. The “Grade 10 to Apprenticeship Pathway” removes barriers to give high school students the opportunity to pursue high paying careers that last a lifetime.”

– Michael Gallardo
President & CEO, Merit Ontario

“This is an exciting announcement. I look forward to the consultation scheduled for the fall of 2023 that will consider lowering the grade 12 requirement for some trades. It’s an important consideration especially as it applies to older apprenticeship applicants with the life experience and aptitudes for the trades but who lack high school graduation.”

– Ian Cunningham
President, Council of Ontario Construction Associations

“The members of the Ontario General Contractors Association (OGCA) applaud our Provincial government’s continued focus on normalizing construction as a career destination and making access to entry easier through apprenticeship. This movement to prepare young people for in-demand and well-paying construction jobs will make a profound difference to both students and employers.”

– Giovanni Cautillo
President, Ontario General Contractors Association

“The Carpenters applaud Premier Ford’s and Minister McNaughton’s leadership in working tirelessly to bring more young Ontarians into good paying skilled trades jobs in the Construction sector.”

– Mark Lewis
Chief of Staff, Carpenters’ Regional Council, United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America

“Creating new pathways is a major step towards addressing the skills shortage and providing students with an opportunity to engage in the trades early. PCA applauds the government’s more straightforward approach to training that helps young people better navigate what can be a complex and confusing system.”

– Stephen Hamilton
Ontario Director of Public Affairs, Progressive Contractors Association

Additional Resources

Catholic School Board News


Joint School Community Wellness Project Comes to Fruition

At the beginning of March, students gathered at St. John Catholic Elementary School (Wellington CDSB) to package and prepare a food delivery for those in need within the local community.

The initiative was a culmination of a special joint collaboration on a wellness project between St. John CS and Holy Trinity Catholic Elementary School.

“Being that St. John and Holy Trinity serve much of the same community, we wanted to work together to help those less fortunate this winter. On November 2, St. John students from Mrs. Girgis-Tweedle’s Grade 2 class and Mr. Parkinson’s Grade 6 class met virtually with my Grade 8 class from Holy Trinity to begin planning! The idea of wellness bags was introduced to the group, and the students guided much of the planning. They were so excited and had such wonderful ideas to share, deciding on what items they thought would be of most importance to include in our wellness bags,” shared Lisa Gibson, grade 8 teacher at Holy Trinity CS.

Over the past few months, both St. John Catholic School in Guelph and Holy Trinity Catholic School have been asking for donations of various items for a Wellness Project in support of the Royal City Mission and The Bench downtown.

“As a joint school community, St. John and Holy Trinity, we decided that this winter we wanted to focus on serving those locally. There are people within our own community that go without during these cold winter months, and we wanted to find a way to help! Pairing our Wellness Project with The Bench was a perfect way to achieve this goal!” shared Alijha Girgis-Tweedle, grade 2 teacher at St. John CS.

Following the initial call, St. John’s students traveled to Holy Trinity to continue planning and deciding on what items each school would be collecting.

“Students from both schools collaborated, creating cards which will be included in each bag, painting inspirational tags, and designing posters which were used to promote our project in the hallways of our schools. It was so special to see each and every student using their gifts to make a difference in the lives of others. They fully embraced the opportunity to meet and work with different schools and understood the purpose of our project: to serve those less fortunate in our community,” explained Gibson.

“Prior to the Christmas break, a letter was sent out to all families inviting them to begin collecting items which would be included in each bag. Some of the items collected were hats, mitts, hand warmers, toothbrushes and toothpaste, scarves, socks, etc. We had a goal of collecting 150 of each item, and we soon realized that we were going to well surpass this goal! The generosity and kindness and the way in which our school communities fully supported this call, was spectacular!” added Girgis-Tweedle.

St. John’s Grade 2 and Grade 6 classes, and Holy Trinity’s Grade 8 class, have been working together to educate students on the need to give back to our community members experiencing homelessness during these very cold months.

“The wonderful thing about this project is the way in which it has evolved, and we are blessed to have the opportunity to work with so many amazing people throughout the planning process. Our initial plan was to get primary, junior, and intermediate students involved from both St. John and Holy Trinity, as we serve much of the same community. What began as a goal to pack 150 wellness bags, soon developed into baking and preparing a meal and dessert for the Royal City Mission, and after the overwhelming amount of donations from our local school communities, we will likely be helping more than 150 people this winter,” said Gibson.

This past week, all three classes gathered together for the ‘packing party’ and to make some yummy treats at St. John CS. Following the day, they then prepared pizzas for the Royal City Mission and delivered the donated items to The Bench downtown.

“We have been working together for one cause: SERVICE, and while downtown, we wanted to find another way that we could give back to our community and to help those less fortunate. With Mark (Berardine)’s help, we were able to organize a meal, cooked by our students, which we will be served at the Royal City Mission by staff members from St. John and Holy Trinity,” added Girgis-Tweedle.

The students had been really looking forward to these two special days where the students can collaborate with their peers and be hands on in a helpful way.

“It has been a gift to be able to work together, as two school communities, with the same overarching goal: to serve our community! It has been a humbling experience, and we are overwhelmed and overjoyed by the generosity and kindness of others,” said Gibson. “Thank you to everyone who contributed to this project, it truly was a community effort.”

Ali Wilson, Communication and Community Engagement Lead, Wellington CDSB




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