Premier John Horgan and Andrew Mercier, Parliamentary Secretary for Skills Training (

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What people are saying about skilled trades certification

Harry Bains, Minister of Labour

“Our province relies on skilled workers. By bringing back skilled trades certification, we can make sure that these workers receive the training they need to succeed and deliver top-quality work. Certification will lead to an improved pool of skilled workers, which attracts investment to the province and will make career opportunities in the skilled trades more accessible and fairer for everyone.”

Shelley Gray, CEO, Industry Training Authority

“The Industry Training Authority welcomes the Province’s announcement and looks forward to facilitating the implementation of skilled trades certification in B.C. We eagerly anticipate the coming engagements with apprentices, trades workers, small to large employers, unions, Indigenous partners and equity-seeking groups to ensure our programs are inclusive and supportive.”

Adrian Scovell, president and CEO, Automotive Retailers Association

“There are many highly skilled automotive tradespeople in B.C., and recognition of their work through certification helps build respect for everyone working in the industry. Whether it is a chance for students training for a first job, those retraining for a new opportunity or those looking to enhance their current careers, skilled trades certification is part of reigniting the engine of a vibrant B.C. economy.”

Al Phillips, president, BC Building Trades –

“The implementation and enforcement of skilled trades certification affirms a long-standing principle held by the members of the BC Building Trades. Our construction projects require a highly skilled workforce – workers who have a skilled trade certification (Red Seal) or workers who are registered apprentices in a recognized apprenticeship program. Skilled trades certification and its enforcement will help build a skilled local workforce, ensuring economic prosperity for B.C.”

Laird Cronk, president, BC Federation of Labour –

“Skilled trades certification will ensure a workforce with cutting-edge technical training and on-the-job mentorship experience – the skills needed to adapt to and thrive in the new economy for decades to come. A highly skilled workforce will set B.C. business up for a successful economic recovery. It will also ensure workers have more than a job – they’ll have family-supporting, community-building careers.”

Chloe Jess, automotive technician student, Camosun College –

“Taking apart something that is broken and putting it back together repaired gives me such a sense of accomplishment. I started my journey into the automotive industry at the age of 20 and I am well on my way to obtaining my Red Seal. I hope to become a mechanic who is considerate, kind and knowledgeable in my field. Obtaining my Red Seal is a big part of that, and I am grateful for the mentors and co-workers supporting my on-the-job experience at a shop in Victoria.”

Media Contacts

Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training

Media Relations
250 208-8438s
Increased affordability, accessibility for apprenticeships

Apprentice supports reduce financial barriers to trades certification by covering certain training costs, such as tuition ($1,000 on average per level), travel, living away from home, child care costs and loss of wages.

Apprenticeships are usually four years in length and include a combination of in-class technical training and on-the-job training with an employer.

In addition to the financial supports outlined below, both apprentices and employers benefit from the services offered by the Industry Training Authority and WorkBC (e.g., apprenticeship advisors, industry relations and employment supports).

Financial supports for apprentices

B.C. supports:

  • A government mandated cap on tuition limits annual tuition fee increases to no more than 2%.
  • The BC Access Grant provides eligible pre-apprenticeship (foundation) students with a grant of up to $4,000.
  • The Youth Work in Trades Scholarship ($1,000) is available to secondary school students upon graduation and completion of the Youth Work in Trades program.
  • The Training Tax Credit for Apprentices provides up to $2,000 in tax credits within the first two years of a non-Red Seal apprenticeship, with an additional $1,000 for Indigenous apprentices or people with disabilities.
  • The Apprentice Tax Credit for Completion provides apprentices with up to $4,500 in tax credits in the final two years of their apprenticeship, with an additional $2,250 available to Indigenous apprentices or people with disabilities (all trades).
  • WorkBC Apprentice Services assists eligible apprentices with employment services, living supports and other financial supports (e.g., travel, dependent care and disability-related costs) while attending the in-classroom technical training component of their apprenticeship.

Federal supports:

  • The Apprenticeship Incentive Grant provides up to $2,000 in cash grants to Red Seal apprentices within the first two years of apprenticeship.
  • The Apprenticeship Incentive Grant for Women provides up to $6,000 in cash grants to women in a Red Seal apprenticeship within the first two years of apprenticeship.
  • The Apprenticeship Completion Grant offers apprentices who complete their training and achieve Red Seal certification with a $2,000 cash grant.
  • The Exam Tax Credit provides apprentices with up to $120 in tax credits per year when taking an Industry Training Authority exam.
  • The Tools Deduction provides a $500 in tax credits per year to help with purchasing new tools.
  • Up to $4,000 in interest-free apprenticeship loans are available to apprentices during their in-class technical training (B.C./Canada student loans are only available for foundation/pre-apprenticeship training).
  • Employment insurance (EI) is available to financially support apprentices during their in-classroom technical training, averaging $4,222 per year, per claimant.

Financial supports for employers

B.C. supports:

  • Employers who hire and train apprentices in non-Red Seal trades are eligible for up to $8,000 in tax credits for the first two years of apprenticeship, with an additional $4,000 if employing Indigenous apprentices or people with disabilities.
  • B.C. provides both Red Seal and non-Red Seal employers with up to $5,500 in tax credits during the final two years of the apprenticeship, with an additional $2,750 for Indigenous apprentices or people with disabilities.

Federal supports:

  • For Red Seal trades only, the federal government provides up to $4,000 in employer tax credit for the first two years of apprenticeship.

Language and education accessibility (ELL/ESL):

  • Government is reducing barriers and providing learning pathways for all British Columbians by providing tuition-free adult basic education and English language learning programs.

Provincial Tuition Waiver Program:

  • In 2017, government expanded the Provincial Tuition Waiver Program for former youth in care to all 25 public post-secondary institutions and the Native Education College. It further expanded the program in 2018 to include 10 union-based training providers.

Workforce Development Agreement programs:

  • Canada-BC Workforce Development Agreement (WDA) programs enable people throughout the province to get the skills they need and help communities and employers connect with the training and workers they need.
  • Programs include a focus on meeting the needs of vulnerable and under-represented groups, regardless of EI eligibility, by providing access to the support and training needed to get good-paying jobs.
  • These programs include pre-apprenticeship programs for women, Indigenous peoples and other equity-seeking groups, delivered through the Industry Training Authority, so they can access trades training and apprenticeship.

Addressing sexism/racism in the workplace:

  • The vision for those who work in trades is to build an environment where employees are treated fairly and respectfully by coworkers and colleagues on all worksites.
  • An inclusive and respectful worksite culture is everyone’s responsibility.
  • Worksite culture contributes to the retention and growth of a diverse, skilled workforce for the province.
  • Government is committed to making B.C. a safer and more inclusive place for everyone, including:
    • committing to introduce a new anti-racism act and legislation on race-based data collection;
    • committing to create a multilingual racist-incident hotline for British Columbians to report racist incidents and receive support and referrals;
    • providing $2 million to support Japanese Canadian seniors as a first step to honour the traumatic internment of almost 22,000 Japanese Canadians during the Second World War; and
    • working in partnership with the Black community to recognize the United Nations' International Decade for People of African Descent.