Starting in 2024, Ontario students entering Grade 9 must complete a technical education credit to get their high school diploma.
Education minister Stephen Lecce says technical education credits cover everything from construction and transportation to manufacturing to computer technology to hospitality and communication.
He says the province is making the change to expose younger students to technology and the skilled trades, to address Ontario’s growing skilled trades shortage.
Lecce adds by requiring students to take at least one technological education credit in high school, they are opening up doors and creating new pathways to good jobs in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and the skilled trades.
He also noted that more than 100,000 skilled trades jobs are unfilled in Ontario, so it is critical to begin the process of filling those jobs in the future.
Lecce noted more than 70 per cent of workers in skilled trades-related occupations are men, so the province is also hopeful of attracting more women to those jobs as well.