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Pacific Pulse: B.C. government launches compulsory trades certification program

Victoria, British Columbia A compulsory skilled trades certification system in British Columbia will be revived after being cancelled in 2003.

The British Columbia government has launched the mandatory skilled trades certification system, which will allow the province to offer more stable and high-paying jobs to skilled trades workers, according to the government.  The decision made back in 2003 to cancel the skilled trades certification system had left workers with no proof that they were able to do the job.

Anne Kang, the minister of advanced education and skills training, says that it’s an important step to give credit to tradespeople for the work they do every day.

“Similar to a post-secondary degree, a certified trades worker has a certification that is recognized by employers just like teachers, lab techs, nurses and other certified workers,” said Kang. “By recognizing the worker’s skill, we will attract more people into careers in the trades in order to help address labour shortages across a variety of trades.” 

The certification system will be in phases, and the first phase will start with the 10 jobs that are the most in need of workers, this includes autobody and collision technician, automatic technician, heavy-duty equipment technician, gas-fitter, steamfitter and pipefitter, sheet metal worker, electrician, powerline electrician, industrial electrician, and refrigeration and air conditioning mechanic. 

Premier John Horgan says that this change will help the province bounce back from a difficult year due to the pandemic. 

“Tradespeople are building British Columbia and we need to value that work. We need to encourage younger people to enter the trades and we need to return tradespeople to the place where they can have family-supporting jobs because of certification,” he said.

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