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Apprenticeship forum chair goes to union rep

Monday, November 2, 2020

Lionel Railton has assumed the chair of the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum’s board of directors. The national, not-for-profit organization brings together employers, labour unions, training agencies and other stakeholder groups involved in developing the skilled trades workforce.

Railton is the Canadian director of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), responsible for 17 IUOE locals representing 55,000 skilled tradespeople working in construction, building maintenance and other industrial and institutional sectors. He’ll lead a 17-member board reflective of the many trades, industries and policy makers with a role in apprentice recruitment, training and mentorship.

“We are incredibly fortunate to secure the leadership of someone with more than forty years of on-the-ground experience in the skilled trades,” says France Daviault, executive director of Canadian Apprenticeship Forum/Forum canadien sur l’apprentissage (CAF-FCA). “Having served his union in many capacities, Lionel has a full understanding of the strengths and opportunities that exist and how apprenticeship can play a key role in fueling Canada’s economic growth.”

Among its initiatives, CAF-FCA is: spearheading a national strategy to support women in the trades; developing recruitment programs and practices to increase intake from diverse and currently underrepresented groups; and producing labour market reports and materials focused on apprenticeship.

“Government agendas around apprenticeship are continually expanding and CAF-FCA is well-positioned as the national voice through its research, discussion and collaboration with stakeholders across the country,” Railton says.

Five new directors have also been elected for four-year terms: J’Amey Bevan, Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training; Cordell Cole, IBEW; Joann Greeley, Office to Advance Women Apprentices; Rebecca Kragnes, Bird Construction; and Frank Rossi, College of New Caledonia.

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