B.C. Reintroducing Skilled Trades...

B.C. Reintroducing Skilled Trades Certification

by Susan Huebert
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

Suppose that your family needed to hire a plumber or an electrician. Your parents could ask friends for a recommendation or look online for the tradespeople who sound good. However, a better idea would be to have consistent standards for all plumbers or electricians. With the Skilled Trades BC Act, the government of British Columbia is making it easier to ensure that people in the trades have the skills they need for the work.

The Skilled Trades Act is intended to help tradespeople maintain or improve their skills. If the act becomes official, the government will change the Industry Training Authority into SkilledTradesBC. This organization will focus on training for the trades, certification, and helping to support people in apprenticeships and other training programs. Having a standardized program will mean that people can learn what they need to know while giving them a place to look for more information on their trades.

To be part of the program, people should be either an apprentice or certified journeyperson in one of ten trades, including electricians in the construction field, industrial technicians, and powerline technicians in the electrical trades. In the mechanical trades, the list includes refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics, gasfitters, and steamfitters/pipefitters, and sheet metal workers. The third category is the automotive trades including heavy duty equipment technicians, automotive technicians, and auto body and collision technicians.

Helping people who are already in the trades is important, but newcomers are also an essential part of supporting the trades. An additional $5 million in funding will go towards dealing with waiting lists for trades programs, as well as other issues related to access to training and refresher courses. Keeping skills up to date is important for all tradespeople, and this program will help them to do that more easily. Going through the certification process can help to highlight areas that still need improvement.

British Columbia used to have a Skilled Trades Act, but it was repealed in 2003. Reintroducing the certification process will ensure that all workers in a particular trade have the skills they need. Officials believe that the initiative will also raise the level of skill in the trades while making sure that enough people get into these jobs. That way, customers will always be able to find qualified builders or electricians when they need help.

The certification will also help people in the trades to become more skillful and ensure that they know what they will need for their work. Sometimes it can be difficult to know what kinds of issues might become important in the future. A course in car mechanics, for example, could help people understand different types of cars and how they differ from each other. Courses for gasfitters could help people in that trade learn about important safety procedures and other essential parts of their work.

The act received Royal Assent on March 10, 2022 and is now in the final process of becoming official. If everything goes as planned, the program will be ready by the end of the year. Soon, certification might bring greater consistency to the trades.



Collision Repair Mag. “School’s In: B.C. Reintroduces Skilled Trade Certification for 10 Trades.” https://www.collisionrepairmag.com/schools-in-bc-reintroduces-skilled-trade-certification.

HRR Reporter. B.C. Launches Skilled Trades Certification.” https://www.hrreporter.com/focus-areas/training-and-development/bc-launches-skilled-trades-certification/357118.

Government of British Columbia. “About Skilled Trades Certification.” https://engage.gov.bc.ca/skilledtrades/about-mandatory-certification/.

Industry Training Authority. “Skilled Trades Certification.” https://www.itabc.ca/skilledtradescertification.

Vancouver Sun. “B.C. Introduces Skills Trade Certification for Apprentices, Journeymen in 10 Trades.” https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/b-c-introduces-skills-trade-certification-for-apprentices-journeymen-in-10-trades.

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