Skilled Trades Certification

Updated as of June 2, 2022

Contents

  1. Background
  2. Process and Timeline
  3. Public Engagement
  4. Share your Feedback
  5. FAQ
  6. Subscribe to Project News and Updates

 

Industry Training Authority Supporting the Transition to Skilled Trades Certification 

Background

British Columbia has a strong and effective trades training system that offers multiple pathways for apprentices to achieve certification, however, it is the only province with no designated trades certification. The provincial government is focused on growing a strong and sustainable economy that works for everyone. This commitment includes implementing the province’s compulsory trades system, known as the Skilled Trades Certification, which ITA is responsible for implementing across B.C.

The first 10 trades for Skilled Trades Certification are:
Electrical trades
1. Electrician (Construction)
2. Industrial Electrician
3. Powerline Technician

Mechanical trades
4. Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic
5. Gasfitter A & B
6. Steamfitter/Pipefitter
7. Sheet Metal Worker

Automotive trades
8. Heavy Duty Equipment Technician
9. Automotive Service Technician
10. Auto Body and Collision Technician

While it is anticipated that the introduction of Skilled Trades Certification for these 10 trades will be a significant and complex change requiring careful implementation, ITA is committed to ensuring this engagement process is inclusive for all interested and affected parties so that new regulations can be informed by the feedback provided and result in a smooth transition to the new system.

Government news release can be found here.
Read ITA’s CEO Shelley Gray’s statement here.


Process and Timeline

On June 11, 2021, the Provincial Government launched a public consultation to raise awareness and seek feedback on the Skilled Trades Certification initiative.

On August 4, 2021, ITA launched a separate engagement to understand the impacts, concerns and insights of groups and individuals who will be directly impacted by the proposed changes. This included virtual information sessions, focus groups, interviews, and an online workbook/survey. The active engagement was completed in the Fall of 2021. More details on the engagement can be found here

On February 14, 2022, the new Skilled Trades BC Act was introduced in the legislature which includes a new name for ITA, SkilledTradesBC as well as an expanded mandate to implement Skilled Trades Certification. The Act received Royal Assent on March 10, 2022 and will go into effect later this year.

Late 2022 - Updates on the next steps of Skilled Trades Certification implementation will be shared as well as opportunities for further engagement. 


Share Your Feedback

If you would like to provide input around Skilled Trades Certification, you can do so via itacommunications@itabc.ca or fill out the form at the bottom of the webpage to subscribe for new updates. 


FAQ

  1. What does Skilled Trades Certification mean?
  2. What is ITA’s role in the new Skilled Trades Certification?
  3. Why is Skilled Trades Certification being introduced and implemented in B.C. now?
  4. What if I cannot afford the training that is required to be certified? Is there financial support available?
  5. Can I continue working while I get my certification?
  6. Will there be enough training seats available for this new legislation?
  7. Why is B.C. the only jurisdiction in Canada without Skilled Trades Certification or designated trades?
  8. Which trades are affected by Skilled Trades Certification?
  9. How are those in these trades specifically affected by the implementation of Skilled Trades Certification?
  10. What will happen if I don’t get certified before full implementation?
  11. Are there other trades that are being considered for Skilled Trades Certification?
  12. If I have my Red Seal (or equivalent), do I still need a Skilled Trades Certification?
  13. Why do we need Skilled Trades Certification when we already have the Red Seal program?

1. What does Skilled Trades Certification mean?

Trades that are listed under Skilled Trades Certification creates a system where trades workers working in the ten Skilled Trades Certification trades need to be either a registered apprentice or journeyperson. This will ensure apprentices get the training and supports they need. Skilled Trades Certification is commonly referred to as mandatory or compulsory trades across Canada and B.C. was the only province without such a system in place. 


2. What is ITA’s role in the new Skilled Trades Certification?

The Industry Training Authority (ITA) oversees B.C.’s apprenticeship system and will play a leading role in the implementation of the new Skilled Trades Certification.


3. Why is Skilled Trades Certification being introduced and implemented in B.C. now?

On June 3, 2021, the B.C. Government announced Skilled Trades Certification, a change that has been discussed for some time. This change is being implemented to:
· Encourage more people to join the trades so we have the necessary workers for our economic recovery,
· Boost confidence in the work done by tradespeople, and
· Increase opportunities for women, Indigenous people, and young people in trades.

Skilled Trades Certification will ensure that everyone working in Skilled Trades Certification trades are receiving standardized training at a high level and have equitable access to the same supports and resources that our registered apprentices and certified trades people do. Our focus is on ensuring workers transition successfully to the Skilled Trades Certification system to support the economic growth and labour demands of today and tomorrow.


4. What if I cannot afford the training that is required to be certified? Is there financial support available?

There are many financial supports available from the federal and provincial government. Check if you’re eligible for them here, https://www.itabc.ca/grants-tax-credits/grants.


5. Can I continue working while I get my certification?

Yes, technical training ranges from three to ten weeks (per level) so outside of that time, you’ll be able to work.


6. Will there be enough training seats available for this new legislation?

An additional $5 million has been allocated to increased demand for skills training and supports. We are working with training providers to facilitate funding that will directly increase training program seats and supports.


7. Why is B.C. the only jurisdiction in Canada without Skilled Trades Certification or designated trades?

Over the past several years the B.C. government took a different approach to skills training. Our government has determined that certification is the best way to prepare for the demands of the future economy.
ITA is well-positioned to ensure a smooth transition to Skilled Trades Certification and help recruit and train a diverse, highly-skilled and credentialed workforce that is ready to meet those demands.


8. Which trades are affected by Skilled Trades Certification?

There are 10 impacted trades, within three categories:
Electrical trades
1. Electrician (Construction)
2. Industrial Electrician
3. Powerline Technician
Mechanical trades
4. Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic
5. Gasfitter A & B
6. Steamfitter/Pipefitter
7. Sheet Metal Worker
Automotive trades
8. Heavy Duty Equipment Technician
9. Automotive Service Technician
10. Auto Body and Collision Technician


9. How are those in these trades specifically affected by the implementation of Skilled Trades Certification?

If you are a registered apprentice in one of these 10 trades, there is likely little to no impact.
If you are currently certified in one of the 10 trades, there is likely little to no impact.
For unregistered workers, upon implementation of the program they will have a period to register with an employer sponsor where a certified tradesperson can support the apprentice or challenge the process to obtain certification.
For employers, we are encouraging them to prepare for implementation by registering any unregistered apprentices. ITA has a seamless registration process that is accessible online or via mail. We are asking employers to please contact ITA’s customer service team or to get in touch with the local Apprenticeship Advisor. Information can be found at itabc.ca or by calling our customer service team at 778-328-8700.
If your trade is not included in the 10 trades for Skilled Trades Certification, there is no action required by you.

ITA is taking steps to ensure that the transition is successful for those impacted by Skilled Trades Certification, including taking a customized approach to implementation that takes into consideration the level of impact on workers, employers/businesses, and other groups.


10. What will happen if I don’t get certified before full implementation?

ITA will work closely with both employers and workers to ensure they have every opportunity to meet their certification requirements. This model is about supporting individuals to be successful in achieving their certification.
This process will include and consider the most appropriate way to ensure compliance among workers and employers moving forward, once implementation begins.


11. Are there other trades that are being considered for Skilled Trades Certification?

At this time, we're focusing on the 10 trades. We will continue to collect feedback and input from our stakeholders to build on Skilled Trades Certification and evaluate the need for additional trades as they come up.


12. If I have my Red Seal (or equivalent), do I still need a Skilled Trades Certification?

No. If you’re already certified in your trade, you’ve already met the requirements of Skilled Trades Certification.


13. Why do we need Skilled Trades Certification when we already have the Red Seal program?

The Red Seal Program is a recognized interprovincial standard of excellence in the skilled trades and ensures recognition of certification for a trade, throughout Canada, without further examination. Skilled Trades Certification is a provincial requirement to be either registered or certified in a trade to legally work in BC. If a person already has an Interprovincial Red Seal they have met the requirements of the Skilled Trades Certification.


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