People looking to start or complete an apprenticeship in the trades will have more training seats and supports as British Columbia prepares to implement skilled trades certification.
The Province has provided $5 million to the Industry Training Authority (ITA) so that more trades workers can start an apprenticeship or upgrade their skills at recognized post-secondary and trades training providers across B.C. The funding will support apprentices re-entering or completing apprenticeship training in the mechanical, electrical and automotive trades included in skilled trades certification.
“The trades training system in British Columbia supports trades workers to get the hands-on experiences they need to strengthen their careers,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. “Approximately 85,000 additional job openings are expected in the trades in B.C. by 2031. We are committed to ensuring that people starting a career in the trades or looking to certify have the supports they need to continue to get the well-paying job of their dreams as they contribute to a stronger B.C.”
Technical training in more than 70 trades programs is offered at 15 public post-secondary institutions throughout B.C., as well as non-public post-secondary institutions. The ITA funds approximately 27,000 apprenticeship and foundation training seats annually.
“Tradespeople in B.C. bring so many skills to the work they do, and ensuring they have access to the training and supports they need to hone their craft is important,” said Andrew Mercier, Parliamentary Secretary for Skills Training. “This investment in the apprenticeship system will ensure more trades workers can start and continue a meaningful career where their work really makes a difference in the everyday lives of British Columbians.”
Skilled trades certification legislation to update the Industry Training Authority Act will be introduced to the legislative assembly during the spring session.
“We’re delighted to work with government and training providers to facilitate funding that will directly increase training program seats and supports, which will allow more people to enter trades training and achieve certification,” said Shelley Gray, CEO, ITA. “We remain committed to ensuring apprentices, tradespeople, those interested in skilled trades, including women, Indigenous communities and other equity-seeking groups, have the opportunity to access training and support they need to succeed in their career.”
To further support tradespeople and employer sponsors in the certification process, the ITA is also hiring an additional five apprenticeship advisors (one in Kelowna North, one in Southern Interior and three in the Lower Mainland) for a total of 25 advisors working throughout the province. Apprenticeship advisors provide guidance to apprentices and employer sponsors on processes and policies relating to apprenticeship, and they help build community knowledge and awareness of B.C.’s apprenticeship system.
“We are excited about the opportunities offered through skilled trades certification and our expanded team of apprentice advisors is ready to give on-the-ground support to apprentices and employer sponsors and remove any barriers that may arise throughout the apprenticeship journey,” said Pam Eales, manager of apprenticeship advisors, ITA.
Learn more about skilled trades certification: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/skilledtrades
Learn more about the ITA: https://www.itabc.ca/
A backgrounder follows.