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

West Coast General Hospital in Port Alberni received some good news about an expansion to its emergency department on Jan. 15, 2021. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
B.C. health ministry commits $6.25M to hospital expansion in Port Alberni

Plans for larger emergency department have been on hold since 2015

A Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation guardian took this photo of dozens of vehicles parked along a forest service road in the Kennedy watershed. (Submitted photo)
Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District looks at enforcement of illegal camping

ACRD currently does not have an existing bylaw service to tackle the issue

Ucluelet local Geoff Johnson snapped this photo of a Risso’s dolphin that washed up near Chesterman Beach in Tofino on Wednesday, Jan. 13. (Geoff Johnson photo)
Washed up Risso’s dolphin offers glimpse into “whole other world” near Tofino

“It’s like a UFO crash landed and you can come look at it.”

(B.C. government)
POLL QUESTION: Would you report a neighbour in breach of COVID-19 regulations?

Would you report a neighbour in breach of COVID-19 regulations? READ MORE:… Continue reading

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Most Read