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Student outcome survey shows apprenticeship training in B.C. pays off

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Victoria – A survey of over 2,800 former apprenticeship students in British Columbia demonstrates that the completion of trades apprenticeship training overwhelmingly leads students to well-paying jobs.

Survey highlights include:

  • 97% of former traditional apprenticeships students were in the labour force (employed or looking for work) in comparison to an 82% labour force participation rate for the B.C. population.

  • 91% of former traditional apprenticeships students were employed.

  • 98% of employed former traditional apprenticeship students were working full-time.

  • 5% of employed former traditional apprenticeship students were self-employed.

  • $31 was the median hourly wage in comparison to the $22.60 median hourly wage for British Columbians reported by Stats Canada in 2015.

“Completing an apprenticeship is a great investment for students,” said Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson.

“Our government has been targeting investments in new trades-training equipment, facilities and additional in-demand trades seats to ensure that students have the skills they need to become part of the work force that British Columbia will require.”

Over three-quarters of traditional apprentices attended public institutions in B.C. A clear majority of the former apprenticeship students surveyed said the knowledge and skills they gained through their training prepared them for their trades job:

  • • 92% of former trades students said their employment was very or somewhat related to their in-school training.
  • • 94% of former trades students said the knowledge and skills they gained through their training had been very or somewhat useful in performing their job.

“Ensuring our young people have the skills they need to find a well-paying family-supporting job in their chosen field is a priority for our government under the Skills for Jobs Blueprint,” said Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour. “This survey shows that our support for the skilled trades is helping apprentices to find their fit in our diverse, strong and growing economy.”

The 2025 Labour Market Outlook forecasts demand for the trades over the next ten years. The “Trades, Transport and Equipment Operators and Related” occupation group is among the top ten groups predicted to have the greatest number of job openings in B.C. to 2025.

“It is so important for apprentices to complete their apprenticeship and trades training to obtain their certification or Red Seal Endorsement,” said Gary Herman, chief executive officer, Industry Training Authority (ITA). “Trades certification is only the beginning of a successful career. ITA is committed to ensuring British Columbians have the right support and resources to complete their apprenticeship journey.”

Government launched B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint in April 2014 to align education and training with in-demand jobs in B.C. so that British Columbians have the skills and training they need to build their careers.
The B.C. government invests more than $94 million annually in industry training through the ITA. The ITA leads and co-ordinates the skilled trades system in B.C. by working with employers, employees, industry, labour, training providers and government to issue credentials, manage apprenticeships, set program standards and increase opportunities in the trades.

Quick Facts:

  • B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint was launched in April 2014.
  • Since B.C.’s Blueprint was launched, the Province has invested $14.6 million to reduce wait lists in high-demand trades, creating 3,730 additional critical trade seats at 14 public post-secondary institutions.
  • Since 2014, more than $90 million has been invested in training infrastructure including: the Northern Lights College trades training centre in Dawson Creek; the Okanagan College Trades Renewal Project in Kelowna; and the Centre for Trades Education and Innovation at Camosun College in Victoria.
  • Since 2014, over $21 million in trades and health equipment has been provided.
  • The ITA provides more than 100 apprenticeship training programs in B.C., including almost 50 Red Seal trades.
  • There are currently more than 39,000 registered apprentices in the industry training system (including youth) – more than double the 14,676 apprentices registered when the ITA was created in 2004.
  • B.C. is expecting up to one million job openings by 2025 due to retirements and economic growth.
  • Eight out of 10 of those jobs will require post-secondary education or trades training.
  • In-demand occupations requiring post-secondary education or training range from professional to management to trades.

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