Langley MLA Andrew Mercier told the legislature B.C. is facing a crisis in skilled trades in 2021. (B.C. legislature video image)

Langley MLA Andrew Mercier told the legislature B.C. is facing a crisis in skilled trades in 2021. (B.C. legislature video image)

Skilled trades to be certified in B.C.: Langley MLA

Andrew Mercier is the parliamentary secretary for skills training

A Langley MLA was part of a recent announcement of a new skilled trades certification system for the province.

“Tradespeople in B.C. need to be recognized for their skills,” said Andrew Mercier, Parliamentary Secretary for Skills Training and MLA for the Langley riding. “Our made-in-B.C. skilled trades certification system increases prestige in the trades, while providing workers with more consistent access to better, safer and higher-paid jobs.”

The provincial government has announced the new system, saying the lack of certification put workers and employers at a disadvantage.

“By bringing back and enhancing skilled trades certification, we’re turning that around – supporting better-paying, steadier work to attract more people to the trades and helping employers find the workers they need to build stronger communities and a stronger B.C.,” said Anne Kang, the Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training.

The change will formally recognize the skills of trades workers, help them receive standardized training, and earn higher wages.

The new system is based on recommendations from a stakeholder advisory group, and includes seven initial trades to be certified, with three more to be added in 2024.

In addition, SkilledTrades BC – the new name of the Industry Training Authority – will see its role in administering the skilled trades system strengthened.

“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 Shelley Gray, CEO of SkilledTradesBC. “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.”

Last year, Mercier said there was a critical shortage of skilled trades workers in B.C., with 37,000 registered apprentices not enough to meet growing needs.

The province was expected to have 73,000 job openings in skilled trades in less than 10 years, Mercier said at the time.

READ ALSO: A warning about a crisis in skilled trades from Langley MLA Andrew Mercier

READ ALSO: Labour shortage hampers B.C. construction industry amid high demand for work


Have a story tip? Email: matthew.claxton@langleyadvancetimes.com

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