Apprentices in British Columbia and New Brunswick will soon be able to seamlessly work in either province, thanks to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
"B.C. is entering a time of incredible opportunity, not only for British Columbians but for all Canadians," said B.C. Premier Christy Clark.
"In addition to meeting the needs of employers and apprentices in B.C. and New Brunswick, this agreement will complement the work our province is leading with other provinces and territories to improve labour mobility across the country."
Starting this fall, apprentices in the provinces will be able to work towards their Red Seal in either province.
The MOU is meant to address immediate and future demand for skilled labour in both B.C. and N.B., and contribute to the development of a national apprenticeship mobility strategy.
According to the Ministry of Jobs, differences in provincial and territorial apprenticeship certification requirements mean that for some Canadian apprentices, gaining the skills training required to achieve their Red Seal certificate can be a challenge if they are unable to move to where the jobs are.
These differences also make it difficult for employers, particularly those who have operations in multiple Canadian jurisdictions, to employ apprentices from other parts of Canada to meet their short-term labour needs.
The MOU between B.C. and N.B. will remove these barriers and could benefit both provinces.
It is expected to bolster B.C.’s workforce during peak labour demands through the mobility of N.B. apprentices and accelerate the certification of N.B. apprentices in their trades through employment with B.C. employers.
The MOU will be fully implemented by the fall 2014.
Apprentices will then be able to move freely between British Columbia and New Brunswick to take advantage of job opportunities which support their skills training in the trades.
The Progressive Contractors Association of Canada praised a memorandum and said it was the best way to ease labour shortages.
"PCA congratulates Premiers Christy Clark and David Alward for taking an important leadership role in promoting labour mobility across Canada," said PCA president Paul de Jong in a release.
He added that the MOU is an important step in addressing regional labour needs and strengthening Canada’s work force through apprenticeship opportunities.
"PCA hopes this agreement will contribute to the development of harmonized apprenticeship regulations among the provincial and territorial governments," he said.