February 17, 2022
The provincial government has tabled Bill 4 – the Skilled Trades Act that, once given Royal Assent, will replace the existing Industry Training Authority Act and transform the Industry Training Authority (ITA) into SkilledTradesBC, the modernized Crown agency responsible for skilled trades training in B.C.
According to the province, the renewed focus of SkilledTradesBC reflects the expanded responsibilities associated with skilled trades certification, and a new focus on promoting and supporting apprentices and trainees throughout their training journey. SkilledTradesBC will remain the authority on trades training in B.C. with enhanced and streamlined services to help apprentices navigate training and get access to support.
With the new Skilled Trades BC Act, the Province hopes it will lay the foundation to address labour shortages, and support and recognize the critical work that skilled tradespeople do in British Columbia.
“We want apprentices in British Columbia to be able to count on having good, family-supporting jobs with steady work once they complete their training,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. “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. 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 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. The Province hopes this certification will increase prestige in the trades by recognizing trades workers’ in-demand skills and experience, pave the way for greater steady employment opportunities and higher wages, and attract more people to the trades.
Skilled trades certification for these initial trades will be implemented in phases between 2022 and 2024, pending the passage of legislation.
The Bill will continue to be monitored and updates will be provided as needed.
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