Today, Greg Kyllo, Parliamentary Secretary for the BC Jobs Plan to the Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, was joined by Gary Herman of the Industry Training Authority (ITA) as they met with apprentices and staff of Mott Electric on the jobsite for The Creek property development in Vancouver’s False Creek area.
Mott Electric, currently a sub-contractor on-site with Concert Properties, is one of the oldest and largest electrical contracting companies in the province, and has been hiring apprentices for the past 80 years.
Mott Electric also has a strong record of hiring female apprentices. Of the 153 apprentices currently employed by the company, 20 are female. Eight female journeypersons are working in various roles throughout the company. President Dan Mott describes apprentices as “the lifeblood of the construction industry.”
Kyllo and Herman were on site to meet with the numerous female apprentices working on the Creek development, and to hear from them about their experiences as women learning a non-traditional trade.
Economic forecasts indicate there will be almost one million job openings in B.C. by 2025, with close to 80% requiring post-secondary or apprenticeship training.
The province is reaching the point where more people are leaving the workforce than entering it. This means there will be many opportunities throughout the province in the coming years. The demand for workers to fill these jobs will be great, and meeting this demand means tapping into the full potential of B.C.’s workforce – particularly women and Aboriginal people.
The ITA – leader and co-ordinator of B.C.’s skilled trades system – provides programs to groups that are under-represented in the apprenticeship system, including women and Aboriginal people.
Programs like Women in Trades Training (WITT) and the Aboriginal Initiatives program support those who are considering a career in the trades.
The WITT program provides training, financial assistance and support for eligible women who are unemployed or may need skills upgrading.
Since the launch of the WITT program in 2009, more than 3,600 women have been served. In 2009, only 8% of all apprentices were women. At last count there were more than 3,900 registered female apprentices in B.C., representing 10.3% of all apprentices. They were registered in 72 different trades, with 45% working in industrial and/or construction sectors such as welding, plumbing, carpentry and construction electrician.
Gains are being made for Aboriginal people in the trades in British Columbia. Currently, over 10% of registered apprentices are Aboriginal – more than double the number registered in 2006. Aboriginal people have established careers in virtually every trade and many of them Red Seal certified.
The ITA’s Aboriginal Initiatives program provides Aboriginal people with training to help them establish careers in the trades throughout B.C., specifically targeting those who are unemployed, or who are employed but low-skilled.
Since 2008, the Aboriginal Initiatives program has received $23.6 million in government funding for pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship training for more than 3,400 Aboriginal people.
In addition, through B.C.’s Aboriginal Skills Training Development Fund, the Province is investing $30 million over three years for Aboriginal skills training projects and partnerships focused primarily on the natural resource regions of northern B.C.
These supports for groups that are under-represented in the trades are part of the ITA’s “Three-Year Strategic Plan 2017-19,” which builds on the direction set by B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and the McDonald Report to continue to bolster the ITA’s goal of increasing participation and completion of foundation and apprenticeship programs.
Helping women and Aboriginal people get the skills they need to access well-paying jobs in the trades and other sectors will continue to be a priority for the B.C. government and a key factor in the province’s economic success.
Greg Kyllo, parliamentary secretary for the BC Jobs Plan to the Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour –
“With nearly one million job openings in B.C. by 2025, women and Aboriginal people are crucial segments of the province’s workforce and we are committed to ensuring they have improved access to skills training and jobs in our diverse, strong and growing economy. Through the ITA’s Three-Year Strategic Plan, we are building a world-class training and apprenticeship system that delivers a highly skilled workforce that will support our future prosperity.”
Gary Herman, CEO, Industry Training Authority –
“Diversity is one of the integral pieces of building a sustainable and balanced workforce. The number of female and Aboriginal apprentices is increasing steadily and employers like Mott Electric, which understands the value of diversity in its organization, is exactly what we need to ensure that the trades industry continues to grow strong and create equal opportunities for all skilled tradespeople in B.C.”
- There are more than 3,900 registered female apprentices in B.C., representing 10.3% of all registered apprentices.
- More than 10% of registered apprentices are Aboriginal – more than double the total registered a decade ago.
- ITA provides more than 100 apprenticeship training programs in B.C., including 50 Red Seal trades.
- There are currently nearly 45,000 participants in apprenticeship programs in the industry training system (apprentices, high school youth and foundation), more than double the 20,050 participants when the ITA was created in 2004.
- B.C. is expecting up to one million job openings by 2025 due to retirements and economic growth.
- Eight of every 10 of these job openings will require post-secondary education or trades training.
Industry Training Authority: http://www.itabc.ca/
B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint:
B.C. Labour Market Outlook: www.workbc.ca/Labour-Market-Information/B-C-s-Economy/Reports.aspx
ITA Three-Year Strategic Plan: www.itabc.ca/3-year-plan