Pattullo Bridge replacement is one of a group of major construction projects due to begin in B.C. with union-only labour. (Black Press Media)

Pattullo Bridge replacement is one of a group of major construction projects due to begin in B.C. with union-only labour. (Black Press Media)

LETTER: Compulsory trades training for B.C. apprentices makes sense

B.C. Building Trades women’s group endorses NDP’s move

Re: Compulsory trades next battleground for B.C. industry, Black Press, Jan. 5, 2021

We are pipefitters, electricians, insulators, refrigeration mechanics, commercial transportation mechanics, sheet metal workers, traffic control specialists and carpenters.

We are also tradeswomen and members of Build TogetHER, the women’s committee of the BC Building Trades. And we support the B.C. NDP government’s move to restore compulsory trades. Here’s why.

When a trade is designated compulsory, it means that anyone working in that trade is legally required to register as an apprentice or journeyperson with the appropriate training authority. An apprenticeship is typically a four-year process that combines classroom time with the job site hours prescribed for that trade to achieve journeyperson or Red Seal status.

The previous B.C. Liberal government eliminated compulsory trades in this province, and B.C. continues to be the only province in Canada that doesn’t have them. What does this mean? It means that, legally, anyone can wire your house or work on the brakes on your car.

The B.C. Liberals also diluted apprenticeship training by compartmentalizing in-demand skill sets. This was done with no thought to the future or what workers actually need to sustain lifelong careers in the trades.

Take the economic fallout from COVID-19, for example. For some of us, a fulsome apprenticeship meant that we were able to pivot our skills at the start of the pandemic when certain jobs were delayed or scaled back – like the planned expansion at YVR and the LNG Canada facility in Kitimat. We were dispatched to other jobs because, thanks to an apprenticeship, we have the full scope of skills and training for varied work.

Compulsory trades go hand in hand with a well-managed apprenticeship system. Together, they ensure B.C.’s trades workers can safely and competently build and maintain the roads, bridges, utilities and infrastructure we use every day. Bring back compulsory trades.

Ashley Duncan, insulator, co-chair of Build TogetHER

Chelsea French, commercial transportation mechanic, co-chair of Build TogetHER

Julia Ballantyne, refrigeration mechanic; Kristine Byers, carpenter; Sarina Hanschke, traffic control; Barbara James, carpenter; Miranda Kurucz, steamfitter; Tara McDonald, sheet metal worker; Katy Rhodes, electrician; Mollie Routledge, electrician

B.C. Building Trades

BC legislatureBC politics

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The speculation and vacancy tax raised about $1.21 million in Sidney and North Saanich combined. (Black Press Media file photo).
North Saanich and Sidney property owners paid $1.21 million in speculation and vacancy tax

Speculation and vacancy tax raised 6.5 million in Greater Victoria

Saanich parks staff will be applying a herbicide called Garlon XRT in Sayward Hill Park between Jan. 18 to 29 to control the invasive species English holly and hawthorn. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Herbicide used to target ‘priority’ invasive species in Saanich park

Treatment applied to English holly, hawthorn stumps, in Sayward Hill Park

Located at 9750 West Saanich Rd., this North Saanich mansion is on the market for $10.25 million. (Realtor.ca photo)
Located at 9750 West Saanich Rd., this North Saanich mansion is on the market for $8.65 million. (Realtor.ca photo)
The five most expensive homes for sale in Greater Victoria

A roundup of luxury estates currently on the market

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely first in B.C. for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Jimmy Fallon joked that a woman’s 4.5-star review of a Langford jail is “the most Canadian thing you could do” in The Tonight Show Jan. 21. (Screenshot/YouTube)
VIDEO: Jimmy Fallon jokes Canadian jails are basically hotels following woman’s 4.5-star review

Woman gave handwritten card to police following stay in Langford cells

Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021 is International Lego Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 24 to 30

Lego Day, Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day and Puzzle Day are all coming up this week

Terry Keogh, an RDN Transit driver, used his paramedic skills the morning of Jan. 22 after coming across an unconscious woman along his route in downtown Nanaimo. (RDN Transit photo)
Nanaimo transit driver stops his bus and helps get overdosing woman breathing again

Former EMT from Ireland performed CPR on a woman in downtown Nanaimo on Friday

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

An Atlantic salmon is seen during a Department of Fisheries and Oceans fish health audit at the Okisollo fish farm near Campbell River, B.C. in 2018. The First Nations Leadership Council says an attempt by industry to overturn the phasing out of salmon farms in the Discovery Islands in contrary to their inherent Title and Rights. (THE CANADIAN PRESS /Jonathan Hayward photo)
First Nations Leadership Council denounces attempt to overturn salmon farm ban

B.C.’s producers filed for a judicial review of the Discovery Islands decision Jan. 18

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

More than 100 B.C. fishermen, fleet leaders, First Nations leaders and other salmon stakeholders are holding a virtual conference Jan. 21-22 to discuss a broad-range of issues threatening the commercial salmon fishery. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. commercial salmon fishermen discuss cures for an industry on the brink

Two-day virtual conference will produce key reccomendations for DFO

Black Press file photo
Investigation at remote burned-out Vancouver Island cabin reveals human remains

Identity of victim not released, believed to be the owner of an SUV vehicle found parked nearby

Angela Waldick is the new team photographer for the Nanaimo NightOwls. (Nanaimo NightOwls photo)
Half-blind photographer will help new Island baseball team look picture-perfect

Nanaimo NightOwls say legally blind team photographer is making history

School District 57 headquarters in Prince George. (Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Prince George school district settles with sexual abuse victim

Terms were part of an out-of-court settlement reached with Michael Bruneau, nearly four years after he filed a lawsuit

Most Read