Victoria, British Columbia — After 20 years of the mandatory skilled trades being eliminated in British Columbia, the province announced its Skilled Trades B.C Act has been introduced into legislation to address labour shortages and support tradespeople’s work in B.C.
The skilled trades certification will now require people to register as an apprentice or a certified journeyperson to work in one of the 10 initial trades.
These trades include:
- Mechanical (gas-fitter Class A and B, steamfitter/pipe-fitter, refrigeration and air conditioning mechanic, and sheet metal worker)
- Electrical (power-line technician, industrial electrician and electrician construction)
- Automotive (heavy-duty equipment technician, automotive service technician and autobody and collision technician.)
“As the only province without skilled trades certification, B.C. workers and employers have been at a disadvantage. With 85,000 new job openings expected in the trades by 2031, there are so many opportunities for meaningful work in B.C,” said Anne Kang, minister of advanced education and skills training. “That is why we’re launching a new, made-in-B.C. skilled trades certification system to encourage more people to choose careers in the trades, so they can prosper and employers can find the workers they need as B.C. builds a strong economic recovery.”
Skilled trades certification for the 10 initial trades will be implemented in phases between 2022 and 2024, pending the passage of legislation.
Per the province, without this new certification, trades workers can be faced with trouble moving between employers, increasing barriers to gaining stable employment, resulting in lost or lower wages for the workers and their families.
The province hopes that once the Skilled Trades B.C Act is passed, it will replace the Industry Training Authority Act (ITA) and become a Crown agency that is responsible for skills training in the province.
B.C also announced that it would invest $5 million to the ITA to provide more trades training seats and help address waiting lists for priority trades programs in B.C