ABOUT SKILLED TRADES CERTIFICATION
With more than 85,000 job openings expected in the next decade, there has never been a better time to join the skilled trades. We know British Columbia’s future economy depends on having more skilled trades people, from diverse backgrounds, building the province of tomorrow.
While British Columbia has a strong and effective trades training system that offers multiple pathways for individuals to achieve certification, it has not had a mandatory trades certification system for two decades. Skilled Trades Certification looks to standardize the training apprentices receive and works to level the playing field, helping to attract a diverse workforce.
It’s part of SkilledTradesBC’s broadened responsibility for trades training, as set out in the Skilled Trades BC Act, and applies to the following ten trades:
1. Construction Electrician
2. Industrial Electrician
3. Powerline Technician
4. Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic
5. Gasfitter A & B
7. Sheet Metal Worker
8. Heavy Duty Equipment Technician
9. Automotive Service Technician
10. Auto Body and Collision Technician
These trades were chosen because they are in high demand, contain relatively low numbers of uncertified workers, and are regulated by other regulators for safety and workmanship. This will allow for the least disruption to workers and employers while we transition to a Skilled Trades Certification system over the coming months and years.
Phase one of Skilled Trades Certification focuses on seven trades in electrical and mechanical sectors. Uncertified trade workers in those trades will be required to register as an apprentice or pass a certification exam before December 1, 2023. Three additional automotive trades will be introduced as Skilled Trades Certification trades in 2024 when phase two begins and will also have one year to transition once announced.
Government news release can be found here.
Implementation is currently underway, starting with electrical and mechanical trades. Each trade has a one-year transition period starting December 1, 2022, which will allow uncertified workers to register as an apprentice or become certified by challenging a certification exam. Businesses can prepare for implementation by ensuring workers are registered apprentices or certified journeypersons and making any adjustments necessary to ensure their successful transition to Skilled Trades Certification.
If you are a worker or employer in one of the Skilled Trades Certification trades and want to start your journey to Skilled Trades Certification now, contact us to see whether you’re already on track or to get on the pathway to certification today.
Are you impacted?
Find out if you are impacted by Skilled Trades Certification.
In addition to the provincial and federal supports available to registered employers and apprentices, we have also enhanced our supports to customers in the Skilled Trades Certification trades.
Join one of our information sessions to speak with our team. In-person and virtual events are available.
Frequently Asked Questions
There will be no impact to registered apprentices and certified journeypeople.
However, workers currently working in one of the Skilled Trades Certification trades without certification will have to either become certified by writing and passing the certification exams or register as an apprentice with an employer sponsor before December 1, 2023.
Employers that have unregistered apprentices or uncertified workers in the Skilled Trades Certification trades will be impacted. We recommend these employers register any unregistered apprentices and ensure uncertified workers understand their options to either get certified by challenging a certification exam or register as an apprentice.
Employers also need to meet the supervision ratio of 2 apprentices to 1 journeyperson.
- Your employees who work in one of the Skilled Trades Certification trades are certified journeypeople or registered apprentices
- You are meeting the supervision ratio of 2 apprentices to 1 journeyperson
- You are keeping records of the workers’ qualifications to work in the Skilled Trades Certification trades
If an apprentice wants to attain certification in a skilled trade, they must register with an employer to receive on-the-job training done by certified journeypeople. Supervision ratio is a limit on the number of apprentices a journeyperson can train a time.
For electrical and mechanical Skilled Trades Certification trades, the supervision ratio of apprentice to journeyperson is 2:1 (two to one).
A 2:1 apprentice to journeyperson supervision ratio helps ensure that apprentices are able to get the right level of training and experience they need to become qualified workers, who in turn are able to support businesses and the needs of British Columbians.
Scope of work refers to general trades activities, tasks or functions carried out by workers in the Skilled Trades Certification trades as part of their work. It is linked and driven by the definition in each trade profile established for our apprenticeship programs, which is consistent with the National Red Seal Occupational Standard definition.
Details of the scope of work of Skilled Trades Certification trades can be found here.
A temporary authorization authorizes the person who may not meet the requirements of the regulations to work in the specified Skilled Trades Certification trade for a certain period of time. It may be issued to Trade Qualifiers who are working towards certification or workers with extensive work experience in a Skilled Trades Certification trade if they meet all the application requirements.
Our goal is to support employers and individuals to meet these new requirements prior to them coming into effect. A process to support Temporary Authorizations will be available to qualified workers who require additional time starting December 1, 2023. Please complete the contact form to receive updates about how to apply for a temporary authorization.
Employers and workers will need to meet the requirements for electrical and mechanical trades before December 1, 2023. Three additional automotive trades will be introduced as Skilled Trades Certification trades in 2024 when phase two begins and will also have one year to transition.
You can contact our customer service team or the Skilled Trades Certification Advisor in your region to find out how to access the information and supports you need to meet the requirements.
Yes. Skilled Trades Certification requires anyone working in the specified trades to be either a registered apprentice or a certified journeyperson in their respective trades.
Some Skilled Trades Certification trades may require workers to obtain additional certifications/licenses from other regulatory agencies and/or organizations to perform certain regulated work in the province. If you have any questions, please contact our customer service team for further information.
Requirements to be certified with Technical Safety BC have not changed. For example, in addition to Skilled Trades Certification, Gasfitters will also need to hold a Class A or Class B gasfitter certification issued by Technical Safety BC in order to perform regulated gas work in B.C. For more information, please visit Technical Safety BC website.
If you already have a certificate issued by jurisdictional authorities in other Canadian provinces or territories or an Interprovincial Red Seal in one of these seven Skilled Trades Certification trades, you have met the requirements of Skilled Trades Certification.