The BC government has introduced the Skilled Trades BC Act, which if passed, will establish new certification requirements for trades workers and modernize the Crown agency overseeing trades training.
Under the new certification system, workers in any of the 10 trades covered by the legislation must be registered apprentices or certified journeymen. Workers will be given at least one year to register for apprenticeship programs or take a certification exam.
The Skilled Trades BC Act will replace the Industry Training Authority Act and a new Crown agency, SkilledTradesBC, will replace the Industry Training Authority. SkilledTradesBC will be responsible for overseeing trades training requirements in BC and provide additional services to help apprentices navigate training and access support.
For over 20 years, BC has been the only province without mandatory skilled trades certification. It is estimated that there will be 85,000 openings in the skilled trades over the next decade, and this new legislation aims to help address labour shortages by encouraging more people to pursue careers in trades.
The initial 10 trades that will be covered under the certification program include:
- gas-fitter Class A and B
- refrigeration and air conditioning mechanic
- sheet metal worker
- power-line technician
- industrial electrician
- electrician (construction)
- heavy-duty equipment technician
- automotive service technician
- autobody and collision technician
It is expected that the new system will be implemented in phases between 2022 and 2024.
For more information, see the official Government of BC news release.