The only province without skilled trade certification is moving closer to implementing a system.
British Columbia announced its plans to move forward on certification with a multi-phase approach that will give those in the automotive industry the most time to get certified.
In February, the province introduced the Skilled Trades Act that would support and train apprentices while also helping address labour shortages and support and recognize the work skilled tradespeople do in the province.
With a name change from Industry Training Authority to SkilledTradesBC, the agency will formally recognize the skills of trades workers, help them get standardized training, earn higher wages and better navigate through the industry’s evolving needs.
In all, 10 trades will be designated for skilled trades certification. The first seven will focus on the electrical and mechanical trades — ranging from commercial electrician to sheet metal worker — while phase two will focus on automotive.
Uncertified trade workers in phase one will be required to register as an apprentice or pass a certification exam before December 1, 2023.
The three automotive trades — heavy-duty equipment technician, automotive service technician and auto body and collision technician — will require certification in 2024 under phase two of the plan. No hard deadline has been set yet but tradespeople will have one year to make the transition once announced.
“We are excited by our expanded mandate to implement skilled trades certification, and our new name will make it easier for people to understand who we are and what we do,” Shelley Gray, CEO, SkilledTradesBC, said in an announcement.