B.C. setting new apprenticeship benchmarks
By Adam FreillConstruction Labour
Province had more than 41,000 registered apprentices last year, working towards certification in over 100 trades.
With more than 40,000 registered apprentices, fiscal 2022/23 was a bumper year for the number of youth, Indigenous people and women participating in the skilled trades in British Columbia, reports SkilledTradesBC, the organization that oversees the province’s skilled trades.
The organization’s annual report marked an eight per cent rise in registered apprentices, with 41,000 across the province, including 1,492 Indigenous people who entered the skilled trades, an increase of 22 per cent; 1,072 women who entered underrepresented skilled trades, a rise of 37 per cent; and 14 per cent more youths, as 10,018 took on skilled trades-related apprenticeships.
“We are in a critical time to diversify and grow the skilled trades workforce in B.C. as we face a skilled labour shortage and anticipate 83,000 jobs in skilled trades over the next decade,” said Shelley Gray, CEO of SkilledTradesBC. “There is a place for everyone in skilled trades and we are excited to see a record number of diverse British Columbians exploring skilled trades as a means to support their families, build a successful career, and contribute to the communities that make this province our home.”
In addition to supporting the more than 40,000 apprentices in the province,
SkilledTradesBC allocates more than $89 million in funding to over 38 training providers, school districts and diversity programs across B.C. each year.
The organization has put a priority on growing in the trades, as demonstrated in its recently released strategic plan, which includes a focus on shifting the perception of the trades, diversity and meaningful reconciliation.