July 25, 2022 – Toronto, ON


The Ontario Professional Hairstylist Association, OPHA ( has been awarded funding to support Mentors and Apprentices in the hairstyling industry in Ontario. This new program, supported by the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development’s Skills Development Fund, will make it easier for mentors, students, apprentices, and employers to navigate the hairstylist apprentice program. 

OPHA Connect is a new online resource platform that will support over 35,000 hairstylists in Ontario. The program consists of a series of online learning modules that will guide mentors, students, apprentices, and employers through a program that will streamline the hairstyling certification process. The goal is to deliver the program to a minimum of 750 candidates over the next nine months.

“Careers in hairstyling offer the opportunity to do meaningful and creative work in your community,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “That’s why our government is investing in innovative programs like this one at the OPHA, which will help more job seekers and young people find rewarding and well-paying work close to where they live.” 

After difficulties due to COVID shutdowns, salon owners and other industry professionals welcome this new initiative that supports the next generation of stylists. It will pave the way for new students entering the profession and make it easier for those just starting.

“The certification and apprentice program can be a challenge to navigate. OPHA Connect is a wonderful opportunity to help bring mentors, students, apprentices and employers together and guide them through the process,” said Tanya Hill, President of OPHA.

Hairstyling is a compulsory trade (a skilled trade that requires government certification) in Ontario. The apprenticeship includes both on-the-job and school education training. There are multiple pathways toward certification and now mentors, students, apprentices, and employers can access all of the information for FREE online at (

OPHA invites all interested mentors, students, apprentices, and employers to sign up for OPHA Connect, at The immediate focus will be on connecting the industry to knowledge through this online learning program, which will help streamline the hairstylist certification process and deliver more qualified stylists to the industry. 

“This funding from the provincial government is a great first step and will have a very positive impact on our industry,” adds Hill. “We are very grateful for the Ontario government’s timely support and financial commitment to finding innovative solutions for the challenges faced by our industry.”

To learn more and apply for the OPHA Connect Program, please visit

Ontario’s Skills Development Fund is funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.


Tanya Hill, President of OPHA

Media Contact: 
Katherine Haine, 


About OPHA 

OPHA is a nonprofit organization based in Ontario. Our mission is to unite and support licensed professional hairstylists and registered hairstylist apprentices by being a voice to government, and community partners on regulations, licensing, and hairstyling standards. To inspire excellence, and to ensure the health and safety standards for our community of clients, contributors, and partners while sustaining our future as a professional trade through training, apprentice, mentoring, and accountability.