BASH IN BURNABY
After what felt like an eternity of COVID-19 restrictions, FinishMaster B.C. was finally able to hold its twenty-second annual trade show over the second week of September, as more than 250 guests gathered for the festivities and returned home with armfuls of gifts and prizes. The automotive refinishing company held their annual celebration at the Grand Villa Casino Hotel and Conference Center in Burnaby on Sept. 7, where attendees were treated to a wide selection of food across multiple chef stations, product demos and spotlights, prizes, as well as swag bags for guests to take home.
According to email correspondence from FinishMaster’s national operations manager, Stacie Langford, more than 30 aftermarket industry suppliers were in attendance.
PUTTING IT ON PAPER
The province of British Columbia is proud to announce more details in its plan to re-launch the provincial certification process for skilled tradespeople, under the name SkilledTradesBC.
The province says the new organization, renamed from the Industry Training Authority, will work to “raise the profile of skilled trades, modernize trades training and implement skilled trades certification.” A stakeholder advisory working group narrowed down the ten initial trades that will be focused on certification, with rollout to be carried out in two phases. Phase one will concern mechanical trades and electrical trades, with a deadline set for Dec. 1, 2023, while phase two will address automotive trades and have a further out deadline of some time in 2024.
Uncertified trade workers will be required to register as an apprentice or pass a certification exam before their respective deadlines. “We are excited by our expanded mandate to implement skilled trades certification, and our new name will make it easier for people to understand who we are and what we do,” said SkilledTradesBC CEO, Shelley Gray. “SkilledTradesBC will focus on educating tradespeople and employers about skilled trades certification. We will provide online assessment tools and low-cost exam preparation to help workers get certified.”
The province currently projects that more than 85,000 jobs will open in the next ten years, and many of them will be in skilled trades sectors. B.C. eliminated certification requirements for skilled trades workers in 2003.
‘TIL THE WHEELS FALL OFF
High costs of living are causing many British Columbia drivers to hold on to their aging vehicles just a little while longer, according to a recent survey conducted on behalf of the British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA).
The survey, carried out by Leger, found that 70 percent of B.C. drivers intend on keeping their vehicles “much longer than they planned,” and will make the investments needed to keep it on the road, even when money is tight, just to avoid buying a new vehicle. It was also found that 49 percent of drivers have skipped repairs and maintenance in the past due to high costs, but going forward, 83 percent report that they won’t take the risk of a mechanical breakdown and having to go without a vehicle.
To that point, 93 percent of respondents said that vehicle maintenance is worth it, despite the costs. About 78 percent of drivers reported that they have already had their vehicles in for winter servicing or are scheduled to do so soon, which the BCAA considers a positive step forward for general driver preparedness.