Apprenticeship Recognition Month Celebrates the Skilled Trades in BC

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November 12, 2021

B.C.’s trades apprentices are being celebrated and recognized for their contributions to the province and economy.

“There are wonderful benefits to a career in the trades and Apprenticeship Recognition Month is an opportunity to celebrate the hard work of apprentices, employer sponsors, youth participants and foundation students across B.C.,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. “Our government values the tradespeople who are contributing to B.C.’s economic recovery. They are building our homes, fixing our cars and creating modern solutions. We are committed to creating opportunities for women, Indigenous Peoples and other under-represented groups to find good-paying, long-lasting careers in the trades.”

The Government of British Columbia has proclaimed November 2021 as Apprenticeship Recognition Month. Throughout November, the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training and the Industry Training Authority (ITA) will be highlighting the many roles apprentices play in supporting a strong economy and building a stronger B.C, as well as opportunities for people to start a career in the skilled trades.

“Developing and maintaining a highly skilled workforce is vital to B.C.’s economic recovery,” said Andrew Mercier, Parliamentary Secretary for Skills Training. “We recognize that the continued success of the apprenticeship system requires strong relationships and ongoing collaboration between employers, workers, industry, labour, training providers and government. The quality training apprentices receive lays the foundation and ensures they are technically skilled and ready to work and build a stronger B.C.”

There are many career opportunities in skilled trades. The ITA is raising awareness of the different career paths with Find Your Trade, a campaign promoting trades apprenticeships and careers. Find Your Trade encourages British Columbians to explore the skilled trades through its website – www.findyourtrade.ca – which showcases more than 100 trades programs and career options, a quiz to find your trade and live webinars to give prospective apprentices opportunities to learn more about trades first-hand.

WorkBC.ca is launching a new Career Education Resources microsite created specifically for B.C. educators. Linking WorkBC resources to the Ministry of Education’s career education curriculum, the new section of WorkBC.ca features lesson plans that showcase labour-market information, career discovery tools and interactive activities to encourage students to pursue various careers, including those in the skilled trades.

B.C. has seen a steady increase in the number of people entering skilled trades professions and has a focus on encouraging women and Indigenous Peoples to enter the trades. Having a strong apprenticeship system in the province is crucial to B.C.’s economy.

Quotes:

“There is a lot to celebrate this Apprenticeship Recognition Month, as skilled trades apprenticeships and careers has remained resilient throughout the pandemic and continues to play an integral role in B.C.’s economy. Skilled trades provide meaningful and rewarding career opportunities and throughout this month, we look forward to showcasing the value of apprenticeships, trades training and careers, and the many ways skilled trades touches and provides value to our everyday lives.”

Shelley Gray
Chief Executive Officer, Industry Training Authority

“A great deal of the infrastructure on which we rely every day – our homes, schools, hospitals, roads and bridges, power and utilities – has been built by hard-working apprentices who are learning their trade under the guidance of experienced journeypeople. Eventually, those apprentices will become journeypeople and pass their skills on to the next generation. That’s how apprenticeship works and it serves our industry and our economy incredibly well.”

Brynn Bourke
Interim Executive Director, BC Building Trades

“The BC Centre for Women in the Trades recognizes the importance of a strong apprenticeship system for providing long-term and sustainable careers for women in the skilled trades. We are encouraged by the number of women apprentices and continue to support more women through apprenticeship to journey status.”

Karen Dearlove
Executive Director, BC Centre for Women in the Trades

Quick Facts:

  • There are more than 37,000 registered apprentices, 7,600 youth program participants and 4,050 trades foundation students in B.C.
  • 10% of B.C. apprentices are women.
  • 7% of B.C. apprentices are Indigenous.
  • According to the 2019 Labour Market Outlook, 73,000 job openings are expected in the trades in B.C. through 2029. Nearly 77% of these job openings are replacing retiring trades workers.

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