Victoria, British Columbia — British Columbians and skilled trades employers will soon learn more about the economic value of apprenticeships, thanks to a study funded by the B.C. government and the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum (CAF-FCA).
In 2006 and 2009, CAF-FCA conducted two national studies to calculate the economic return on training investment for skilled trades employers who hired apprentices. In 2006, using a cost-benefit model, CAF-FCA found that for every dollar spent on apprenticeship training, an employer receives an average benefit of $1.38. When the study was repeated in 2009, the return had increased to $1.47.
While the net benefit to employers when hiring apprentices differs by trade, the results showed that in the majority of trades there is a positive return for those employers that invest in apprenticeship training and the net benefit increases in each year of the apprenticeship.
To develop up-to-date data regarding the value of apprenticeship training to employers in B.C., CAF-FCA will update and replicate its 2009 study across 21 skilled trades.
The research is expected to take 20 months, with estimated completion in July 2023.
Working in partnership with the British Columbia Construction Association (BCCA) through focus groups and surveys, the project will examine employment in the skilled trades sector, determine the prevalence of apprenticeship training among employers, and quantify the return on training investment for employers in B.C.
The final report will identify strategies for encouraging higher levels of participation in apprenticeship training among employers to ensure the skills and training needs of the current and future labour market can be met.