Premiers sign Provincial-Territorial Apprentice Mobility Protocol
July 22, 2015 by On-Site Magazine
Canada’s Premiers have opened the door for nationally certified apprentices to work across the country.
The new Apprentice Mobility Protocol, signed during the annual summer meeting of provincial and territorial premiers, articulates the agreements jurisdictions have reached to achieve a provincial-territorial approach to mobility for apprentices.
It includes the recognition that work experience and technical training may occur in any jurisdiction; jurisdictions will facilitate mobile apprentices progressing through their apprenticeship programs; and the mutual recognition of apprenticeship training and pre-apprenticeship training between jurisdictions.
“This initiative is a significant step in promoting labour market mobility across Canada and will support our efforts to increase the population of the Northwest Territories,” said Premier Bob McLeod. “There is a growing need for skilled tradespeople across the country, and with this Protocol, we are providing a means for apprentices to choose where they would practise without having to recertify.”
Each province and territory is currently responsible for apprenticeship, resulting in 13 different apprenticeship systems across the country. This can lead to barriers in apprenticeship skills training mobility and may interrupt the continuum of skills training for apprentices that need or want to move while completing their apprenticeship.
Jurisdictions continue to discuss implementation details, with the Protocol expected to take effect in all jurisdictions in January 2016.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business applauds Canada’s premiers for taking a strong first step in the fight to remove internal trade barriers, as the provincial and territorial leaders meet in St. John’s.
“Canada faces a significant skilled worker shortage,” said CFIB executive vice-president Laura Jones. “And making it easier to move between provinces will help to attract more people to the skilled trades.
“CFIB is thrilled with the premiers’ commitment on apprenticeship mobility, and believes it is a sign of things to come in pursuit of a modernized Agreement on Internal Trade.
“Premiers deserve a pat on the back. It’s not easy to get 13 jurisdictions to agree on anything,” said Jones. “This is great work toward the bigger goal of free trade in Canada. The next big step is to mutually recognize each other’s regulations. That’s the mother lode.”
“This agreement is good for workers. It’s good for business. It’s good for the economy. What’s not to like?” added Jones.