Ontario has resumed offering certification exams for the skilled trades after a five-month shutdown of provincial testing centres. Apprentices in trades requiring a certificate of qualification — including facilities operators, electricians, plumbers, HVAC technicians, drywallers and arborists — are conventionally required to pass an exam within 12 months of finishing their initial training. However, the provincial government extended that period to 18 months last spring after the COVID-19 outbreak halted exam procedures.
In recent years, approximately 1,700 candidates per month take an exam at one of the 24 provincial testing centres or at the site of one of the Ministry of Labour’s affiliated training partners, which are typically labour unions or community colleges. All venues are now preparing to accommodate the backlog. An estimated 600 certification exams have been written in provincial centres and five partner organizations have hosted exam sessions as reopening gradually occurred over the past month..
“It is critical that they finish their apprenticeships, become journeypersons and reap the rewards for their hard work so far,” says Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “I’m proud that we could reopen these exam centres, in a safe and reliable way while helping Ontario’s economic recovery and future prosperity.”