EDMONTON – The Alberta Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Education Act has been proclaimed, creating a new framework for how designated trades, apprenticeship education and industry training programs are governed.
The new act replaces the Apprenticeship and Industry Training Act and is “the largest update of trades and apprenticeship legislation in 30 years,” an Alberta government release stated.
“The Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Education Act marks a significant milestone in our commitment to Albertans to expand apprenticeship programs to meet the needs of a 21st century labour force. We have established a board that is dedicated to enhancing the skills of Albertans, forging stronger relationships among institutions and industry, and increasing the parity of esteem with other forms of post-secondary education. This is an exciting time for our post-secondary community, industry and our economic recovery,” said Alberta Minister of Advanced Education Demertrios Nicolaides in a statement.
Highlights of the act include separation of apprenticeship education and regulation of skilled trades professionals. Apprenticeship education programs can also be created without the need for a trade designation, and vice versa, and trades can be designated without the need for an apprenticeship education program.
Apprentices can register into an apprenticeship education program with or without a sponsor and a registered apprentice that meets entrance requirements can register for classroom instruction. Those without a sponsor cannot perform restricted activities within a designated trade linked to that education program or receive the onsite instruction provided by an apprenticeship education program.
Current apprenticeship contracts are required to transition to apprenticeship education agreements within 24 months of the act coming into force.
Since the act received royal assent on June 17, 2021 additional amendments and regulatory updates have been introduced to reflect engagement with stakeholders and provide for establishment and administration of apprenticeship education and industry training programs, including the issuance of academic credentials, the release stated.
The act also established the Alberta Board of Skilled Trades and describes the power and functions of the board, including its ability to make orders and establish committees for designated trades. The appointed 15-member board advises the Alberta minister for advanced education on the direction of the province’s designated trades certification system.
New Board of Skilled Trades members include:
- Sheldon Anderson
- Blain Boutin
- Rob Calver
- Paul de Jong
- Caitlin Hartigan
- Ryan Hartman
- Miriam Jordi
- David Kavanagh
- Matthew Lindberg
- Heather MacCullum
- Raymond Massey (chair)
- Carol Moen
- Declan Regan
- Chris Schneider
- Nancy Suranyi