There's a difference between the compulsory trades, like electricians, and the voluntary—I don't like the word “voluntary”—the non-compulsory trades. In the non-compulsory trades, I can buy a pair of white pants and get my van, go to Home Depot, get a paintbrush and I'm a painter.
If you never go to a training centre and never become a registered apprentice, are you actually a skilled tradesperson? You're not actually working on that path like you are in college or university to get that degree or diploma, that journeyman's status. Your skill level is going to increase with the more experience you have, but at the end of the day, is that really skilled trades? You're not taking the whole scope of work. If you're with a contractor who only does this little bit of work, that's all you know. You're not a journeyperson, because you don't have the whole scope of work. Is that really a skilled tradesperson? You're employed in the trades, but are you a skilled tradesperson?
I would argue that the union sector has pushed more of this training on its members. I have a few numbers here. There are $40 million a year invested in Ontario in specialized apprenticeship and health and safety training. That's in addition to the money the provincial government gives for apprenticeship training. The unions have invested heavily into skills and health and safety training. It's difficult for a non-union contractor to get all of that training, because they're a one-off. The unions have created over 95 unionized training centres across Ontario. So it's easier, and more used, for union skilled workers to get their skills, as well as their health and safety training, which is really important. We want everyone to go home safe.