On April 30, 2003, the Government introduced Bill 34, the Industry Training Authority Act which will initially regulate training and certification for 167 trades and occupations such as electrician, carpenter, automotive technician, cook and plumber. The Government has set a three-year target of 30,000 trainees under the new model. Bill 34 establishes the Industry Training Authority, which will replace the Industry Training and Apprenticeship Commission.
The Industry Training Authority will be responsible for increasing the quality and quantity of training in British Columbia. A board of nine members chosen by the minister will direct a chief executive officer and a small staff. The board will be appointed once the Act is in place.
The Government intends to improve the current training and apprenticeship system in BC by instituting a new industry training model that will allow apprenticeships and technical training to continue uninterrupted. The new training model is intended to be co-ordinated with the K-12 education system to produce more skilled workers in order to address existing shortages in trade fields. Key changes to the training and apprenticeship system in B.C. include:
Adding modular training
Trainees will be able to earn certificates for specific skill sets as they progress towards full credentials.
Skills and knowledge learned in one trade will be recognized by other trades.
Opening up “compulsory trades” training
In the past, 11 trades in BC were deemed “compulsory,” meaning that only certified trade workers and apprentices under their supervision could work in these trades. These compulsory trades are being opened up to other trained individuals.
Emphasis on safety standards
All training must meet requirements set by BC’s new Safety Standards Act.
Using flexible training methods
A variety of training methods will be used including, but not limited to, on-the-job training, short and long term institution based training, co-op training, and online training.
Recognizing prior learning
Individuals will be permitted to take written or practical exams to prove competency, rather than having to take courses in areas where they already have expertise.
Apprentices and other trainees will register training agreements online.
(click here for full text of the Act)