Training and Apprenticeship

Good Jobs for British Columbians

For the past decade, British Columbia has faced an acute shortage of skilled workers.

Baby boomers in the skilled trades are retiring, but BC is simply not training enough workers to fill the gap.

Training our own skilled workers is fundamental to a strong and stable economy, something the BC government has failed to do. Instead, they have relied on temporary workers imported from abroad (and given no rights or protections), and on temporary agency work.

An ill-conceived BC Liberal experiment has left us further behind

In 2002, when the priority should have been to expand trades training, the provincial government ended its involvement in apprenticeship education.

It shut down the Industry Trades and Apprenticeship Commission – a partnership of industry, labour, educators and government.

Instead, it imposed an unproven privatized system, governed solely by industry.

Their risky experiment has been a dramatic failure.

Completion rates have plummeted. From the 1960's through the 1990's, 60 to 80 percent of apprentices qualified for nationally recognized certifications. By 2011, the completion rate had fallen to just 43 percent.

Practical steps to rebuild BC’s apprenticeship system

Join the BCFED in calling on the provincial government to take these steps to ensure BC’s apprenticeship system can meet the needs of young people and our economy:

• Double the completion rates for Red Seal certifications
• Provide comprehensive counselling and regional support for apprentices
• Provide full scope training – apprentices need to work directly with journeypersons to learn their trades

BCCWITT: New training program will improve psychological safety and culture in construction workplaces

May 14, 2024
Stand Up for Safe Workplaces to launch in spring 2025The BC Centre for Women in the Trades (BCCWITT) today announced Stand Up for Safe Workplaces, a new approach to workplace culture and safety training. Developed in partnership with the BC Federation of Labour (BCFED) Health... more

BC Government’s Re-Engineering of Education and Training Includes Improvements, Falls Short on Compulsory Trades and Apprenticeship Quotas on Public Projects

April 29, 2014
Vancouver, BC – Upon initial review, the labour movement gives mixed review to the BC Government’s “re-engineered education and training” program. The Federation is pleased to see the BC Government’s new plan has committed to hiring 15 apprenticeship counselors with a priority on... more