It's hard to get a good job without the right training. BC has not been doing enough to invest in the education and training of its residents. Jobs in the trades are good, family-supporting jobs that British Columbians must be ready to step into.
However, under the BC Liberal government, training for skilled trades was deregulated; comprehensive training programs were chopped into small pieces; and mandatory classroom and hands-on learning requirements were cut to the bone. While the demand for qualified tradespeople in our province has increased, apprenticeship completion rates have plummeted. Compulsory certification was also dropped, leading to a de-skilling of the workforce.
The result? A failed experiment that has led to a shortage of skilled workers.
It’s time for BC to find a new path forward and for government and employers to invest in our young people. Our economic and social prosperity depends on it.
It's time to:
1) Strengthen requirements for hands-on supervision, mentorship, and training by journey persons of the trade;
2) Return compulsory trades certification for selected trades that impact worker, public and environmental health and safety;
3) Set minimum quotas for First Nations, women and other equity-seeking groups on publicly-funded infrastructure projects; and
4) Engage employers to provide more, full-scope work experience opportunities on public and private projects to enable current apprentices who are bottlenecked in the system to complete.