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 COVID-19 outbreak at the two Coastal GasLink workforce lodges has officially been declared over. (Lakes District News file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Coastal GasLink worksites declared over

In total, 56 cases were associated with the outbreak in the Burns Lake and Nechako LHAs

Brett Alexander Jones is wanted on several warrants province-wide, in connection with multiple charges. Jan. 21, 2021. Kitimat RCMP photo
Kitimat RCMP searching for man wanted on several warrants province-wide

Jones is described as a five-foot 10-inches Caucasian man, with blond hair and blue eyes.

That’s Houston physician Dr. Stefanie Steel receiving her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine Jan. 19, 2021 from RN nurse manager Cindy Cockle. (Northern Health photo)
First Houston vaccinations take place

Long term care residents, health care workers on list

Administering naloxone to a person experiencing a benzo-related overdose event won’t help. Naloxone is used to neutralize opioids. (Jenna Hauck/The Progress file photo)
Northern Health warning drug users of potential benzo contamination

The drug does not respond to naloxone, and is being included in street drugs

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

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

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 B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

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

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

Most Read