B.C. Introducing New Certification System for 10 Skilled Trades

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March 23, 2022

Skilled tradespeople in British Columbia will benefit from a made-in-B.C. system to support and train apprentices.

The Skilled Trades BC Act received royal assent Thursday, March 10, 2022, supporting the crucial work of skilled tradespeople throughout the province.

Skilled trades certification will require people to register as an apprentice or be a certified journeyperson to work in one of the 10 initial mechanical, electrical and automotive trades.

Certification for these initial trades will be implemented in phases between 2022 and 2024.

People will have at least one year to register as an apprentice or challenge an exam to certify as a journeyperson, allowing uncertified workers time to access any additional supports they may need while continuing to work.

Twenty-five apprenticeship advisors will help workers register to certify and aid them with accessing support provided by the government, such as financial assistance for child care, lost wages, travel and living expenses.

The new legislation replaces the Industry Training Authority Act and transforms the Industry Training Authority into SkilledTradesBC. The modernized Crown agency is responsible for skilled trades training in B.C. The renewed focus of SkilledTradesBC reflects the expanded responsibilities associated with skilled trades certification.

Among the supports available to trades workers looking to certify, the Province is providing $5 million to the Industry Training Authority to address waiting lists for priority trades programs so that more tradespeople can access training or upgrading and refresher courses to complete apprenticeship training and certification.

“ITA has overseen B.C.’s apprenticeship system over the past 15-plus years and will play a leading role in the implementation of the new Skilled Trades Certification while working closely with government, industry and post-secondary institutions,” commented ITA CEO, Shelley Gray. ” We know the introduction of the new Skilled Trades Certification is a significant and complex change that will require careful implementation, and ITA is well-positioned to ensure a smooth transition to the new program.” 

Quick Facts:

  • The skilled trades certification trades are:
    • mechanical: gasfitter Class A and B, steamfitter/pipefitter, refrigeration and air-conditioning mechanic, and sheet metal worker;
    • electrical: powerline technician, industrial electrician and electrician (construction); and
    • automotive: heavy-duty equipment technician, automotive service technician and autobody and collision technician.
  • The 10 trades initially identified for skilled trades certification were selected based on recommendations from a 16-member stakeholder advisory working group, which included representation from industry associations, labour groups, post-secondary institutions, Indigenous skills trainers and the Industry Training Authority.

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