Currently the only province not requiring individuals to be certified, British Columbia is reintroducing a mandatory certification for tradespeople in order to “support higher paying and more stable jobs for workers,” CBC News reports.
The previous mandatory certification program was cancelled back in 2003.
Skilled Trades Certification means uncertified workers in selected trades will need to become certified or register as an apprentice with the Industry Training Authority (ITA) to be legally able to work in that trade. Automotive service technicians are among those affected by this announcement.
Since 2003, B.C. has been the only province in Canada with non-compulsory trades certification. This means there are currently thousands of trades workers across the province without formal recognition of their knowledge or skills levels. These uncertified workers are often paid less and have lower rates of employment stability and mobility — particularly in a challenging economy. By requiring trades workers to be either a certified journeyperson or a registered apprentice, skilled trades certification provides a pathway to:
Significantly raise the skill level of B.C.’s existing trades workforce.
Ensure the province has enough skilled trades workers to meet the demands of the future economy.
Provide opportunities for more trades workers to benefit from post- secondary training and certification that leads to better jobs and higher wages.
B.C.’s Labour Market Outlook forecasts 73,000 trades job openings by 2029. While many of these jobs are driven by new growth, the majority will be the result of 38,000 workers retiring in the construction trades alone by 2029. Fewer youth are choosing a trades career over other professions that require a post-secondary education, due to the stigma around trades careers as blue-collar jobs that lack the prestige of more academic careers. Skills needs are also evolving, as rapid technological advancements, automation and new demands from emerging sectors like the clean economy are changing the technical “on-the-tools” skills trades workers need. Almost 80% of the job openings in B.C. over the next ten years will require some post-secondary education or training.