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Skilled Trades BC Act receives royal assent

Skilled Trades BC Act receives royal assent
PROVINCE OF B.C.—New legislation to implement skilled trades certification in B.C. has been given royal assent. There will be 10 initial trades that require certification.

VICTORIA—New laws to implement skilled trades certification in B.C. have received royal assent.

The new legislation replaces the Industry Training Authority Act and changes the Industry Training Authority into SkilledTradesBC. The modernized Crown agency is responsible for skilled trades training in B.C. The renewed focus of SkilledTradesBC reflects the expanded responsibilities associated with skilled trades certification. The act received royal assent March 10.

Skilled trades certification will require people to register as an apprentice or be a certified journeyperson to work in one of the 10 initial mechanical, electrical and automotive trades. However, these requirements won’t go into effect right away. Certification for these initial trades will be implemented in phases between 2022 and 2024.

People will have at least one year to register as an apprentice or challenge an exam to certify as a journeyperson, allowing uncertified workers time to access any additional supports they may need while continuing to work.

Twenty-five apprenticeship advisers will help workers register to certify and aid them with accessing support provided by the government, such as financial assistance for child care, lost wages, travel and living expenses.

The province has also given $5 million to the Industry Training Authority to address waiting lists for priority trades programs so that more tradespeople can access training or upgrading and refresher courses to complete apprenticeship training and certification.

The initial trades that will require certification are:

  • mechanical: gasfitter Class A and B, steamfitter/pipefitter, refrigeration and air-conditioning mechanic, and sheet metal worker;
  • electrical: powerline technician, industrial electrician and electrician (construction); and
  • automotive: heavy-duty equipment technician, automotive service technician and autobody and collision technician.

According to the province, the 10 trades initially identified for skilled trades certification were selected based on recommendations from a 16-member stakeholder advisory working group, which included members from industry associations, labour groups, post-secondary institutions, Indigenous skills trainers and the Industry Training Authority.

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