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B.C. government introducing legislation to add trades jobs

Provincial officials said the new Skilled Trades BC Act would address labour shortages and will require people to register as an apprentice or be certified journeyperson to work in one of 10 initial trades.

Compulsory skilled trades certification was eliminated in 2003. B.C. is the only province without this requirement.

“We want apprentices in British Columbia to be able to count on having good, family-supporting jobs with steady work once they complete their training,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training.

“As the only province without skilled trades certification, B.C. workers and employers have been at a disadvantage. With 85,000 new job openings expected in the trades by 2031, there are so many opportunities for meaningful work in B.C. That is why we’re launching a new, made-in-B.C. skilled trades certification system to encourage more people to choose careers in the trades, so they can prosper and employers can find the workers they need as B.C. builds a strong economic recovery.”

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Provincial officials said without the certification it can be challenging for workers to transition between employers, increasing barriers and lowering wages.

Initial trades include gasfitter Class A and B, steamfitter/pipefitter, refrigeration and air-conditioning mechanic, sheet metal worker, powerline technician, industrial electrician, construction electrician, heavy-duty equipment technician, automotive service technician; and autobody and collision technician.

Pending legislation passage, skill trade certification will be implemented in phases between 2022 and 2024.

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