As the Province recognizes Apprenticeship Recognition Month, British Columbians are encouraged to learn more about the benefits of a career in the skilled trades that offer high-quality, good-paying jobs as well as growth opportunities in numerous fields.
“There has never been a more exciting time to enter the skilled trades in B.C.,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. “With more than 85,000 new job openings in the trades over the next decade, we are making sure that apprentices have the supports they need to get in-demand, good paying jobs.”
The B.C. government has proclaimed November 2022 as Apprenticeship Recognition Month for the fourth year in a row. Throughout November, the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training and the Industry Training Authority (ITA) will be celebrating and acknowledging the contribution and value of apprentices, employer sponsors, youth program participants throughout B.C., and raising awareness of the benefits of a career in the skilled trades.
Technical training in more than 70 trades programs is offered at 15 public post-secondary institutions throughout B.C., as well as employer and union trades training. The ITA funds approximately 27,000 apprenticeship and foundation training seats annually and works with more than 10,000 employer sponsors.
“An apprenticeship in a skilled trade is an important gateway to a long-lasting, home owning career that is helping build a better B.C.,” said Andrew Mercier, Parliamentary Secretary for Skills Training. “We recognize that the foundation of a strong apprenticeship system is collaboration between labour unions, employers, workers, training providers and government, and we look forward to continuing to strengthen these relationships as we get people ready to enter the workforce.”
The Skilled Trades BC Act, passed in spring 2022, establishes a made-in-B.C. system to support and train apprentices and modernize the Crown agency responsible for trades training. Skilled trades certification will require people to register as an apprentice or be a certified journeyperson to work in one of the 10 initial mechanical, electrical and automotive trades.
The new legislation replaces the Industry Training Authority Act and transforms the Industry Training Authority into SkilledTradesBC, the modernized Crown agency responsible for skilled trades training in British Columbia. The renewed focus of SkilledTradesBC reflects the expanded responsibilities associated with skilled trades certification, and a new focus on supporting apprentices and trainees throughout their training journey. SkilledTradesBC will remain the authority on trades training in B.C. with enhanced and streamlined services to help apprentices navigate training and get access to support.
Investing in the trades is part of StrongerBC’s Future Ready Plan. Government is investing in skills training for Indigenous people and supporting programs that encourage more women in the building trades, as well as modern training facilities. The ministry is working with post-secondary institutions, industry, First Nations and employers to be future-ready and to prepare British Columbians for the jobs of tomorrow.
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