Spotlight on Trades Education in BC

Spotlight on Trades Education in BC

November 21, 2017 Posted by Abby Pollen

In case you missed it, Nov. 5-11 was Apprenticeship Recognition Week in British Columbia, and the 82nd anniversary of formalized trades training in the province. It’s important to recognize the value of skilled workers, as well as the proven efficacy of apprenticeship training. Most trades training takes about four years, similar to a university degree, but apprentices are paid employees with attractive starting wages that advance as they progress through their training. About 20% of trades training is spent in a classroom environment acquiring technical knowledge, with the remaining 80% being paid, real-world experience. It’s a fast track to a rewarding life-long career with little to no student debt.  

There are several organizations within the province that are dedicated to promoting skilled trades and ensuring effective training of the workforce. The provincial government supports trades training through WorkBC, which offers: the most comprehensive database of B.C. job postings as well as career tools, an informative blog, information on Employment Services Centres across the province and live chat for instant help finding information.

Trades Training BC is a consortium of 15 public post-secondary educational institutions created to promote trades training in British Columbia. The organization encourages the pursuit of careers in the trades and is an advocate for member institutions with the public, government, business and other stakeholders. The Trades Training BC website is an excellent information hub with links that refer students to information on financial assistance options, trade programs, apprenticeships and jobs.

The Industry Training Authority manages over 100 trades programs in B.C., forty-nine of which are Red Seal, meaning they meet the standard of excellence for skilled trades across Canada, allowing Red Seal apprentices to work interprovincially. The ITA has recently committed over $1.2 million to the Youth Work in Trades Program in school districts across the province, 46 of which are approved to receive grants of $20,000 to $40,000. The funds will support local apprenticeships for students in grades 10-12.

British Columbia has a well-educated, skilled and flexible workforce of more than 2.4 million – it’s one of our greatest assets. Over half that number is employed in knowledge-based or trade-related industries. If you are considering establishing a head office or startup business in British Columbia, we can help. Connect with us on LinkedIn or Twitter.
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