Electrical Business

News
ECA GTA, IBEW support current apprentice ratios


October 10, 2008
By Anthony Capkun

The Greater Toronto Electrical Contractors Association and its labour counterpart, IBEW Local Union 353, announce they strongly endorse the current 3:1 journeyman to apprentice ratio for electricians.

“We
have taken a serious look at this issue” says Bob O’Donnell, Executive
Vice-President of the Association, “and once you consider the economic
demand and the need to provide a proper and safe training environment,
we do not believe there is any solid evidence to support lowering the
ratio for the electrical trade.”

Electrical Business wants to find out how you feel about this issue. CLICK HERE to take part in a quick survey. All respondents are entered into a random draw for a clamp meter valued at about $250.00! Thanks, and good luck!



Some
groups have called for the ratio to be dropped to 1:1 that, if
successfully completed, would triple the number of electricians in the
province in 15 years, reads the release. “There is no economic evidence
to support the increase,” it goes on to say. “In fact, the Construction
Sector Council forecast a modest one percent yearly growth for the
electrical trade between 2008-2016.”




“The notion that there will be a huge exodus from the industry from retirements is also inaccurate.” says O’Donnell.



“To
properly train an apprentice to become an electrician you need a safe
and well-supervised work environment,” says Joe Fashion, business
manager of IBEW LU 353. “In a 1:1 work environment, the apprentice will
be assigned repetitive menial tasks, essentially become a helper.
[With] the current 3:1 environment, the mentoring and supervision is a
shared responsibility, so the apprentice may learn a progression of
skills while the journeymen also remain productive.”




The
existing ratio of 3:1 only applies to those contractors with more than
nine electricians and, for those smaller, the ratio is based on a
sliding scale.




In a
report, “Electrical Apprenticeship: Building on Success”, the two
organizations say that more attention should be devoted to increasing
the completion rates of existing registered electrical apprentices.
CLICK HERE to download the report (PDF format).




(Also, CLICK HERE to read “OEL and CFIB demand changes to apprenticeship rules” – Editor)