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   NEWS RELEASE   

For Immediate Release

2008ECD0024-000697

May 5, 2008

Ministry of Economic Development

Industry Training Authority

 

B.C. APPRENTICES INCREASE FOR FOURTH STRAIGHT YEAR

 


VICTORIA – With almost 40,000 registered apprentices and youth participants in British Columbia as of March 31, the Industry Training Authority (ITA) has successfully exceeded its service plan targets for the fourth straight fiscal year, announced Economic Development Minister Colin Hansen.

 

In total, B.C. is home to 39,797 apprentice and youth participants, surpassing the ITA’s goal of 32,000 by 24 per cent. The number of foundation participants will be available later this year.

 

“With this many people pursuing a career in the trades, B.C. employers should be delighted to know that help is on the way to combat the skills and labour shortage this province is facing,” said Hansen. “With a record number of major capital projects planned or underway in B.C., the need for well-trained and competent tradespeople has never been greater. Now, in the fourth straight year of increase in the number of apprentices in this province, it’s clear the ITA is continuing to help us meet this need.”

 

The ITA has exceeded its 2007/08 goals in a number of other areas as well:

§         5,481 registered youth in apprenticeship or trades training programs is 37 per cent more than the target (4,000). This is up 536 per cent since March 2004 (861);

§         5,246 credentials awarded to apprentices and exam challengers is 50 per cent more than the target (3,500);

§         10,522 registered sponsors is 11 per cent more than the target (9,500) and a 56 per cent increase from March 2004.

 

“B.C.’s skilled workforce is growing, thanks to the commitment of our staff and the quality of our partnerships with industry, labour, post-secondary training providers and K-12 educators,” said Kevin Evans, ITA chief executive officer. “We look forward to working collaboratively in the year to come to make gains in new areas like improved apprenticeship completion rates, assessment of prior skills and experience, and flexible delivery of training.”

 

In the last year, a number of trades saw significant growth in the number of credentials awarded:

§         Carpenter certificates increased 114 per cent (180 to 385);

§         Plumber certificates grew by 102 per cent (174 to 352);

§         Electrician certificates are up 63 per cent (494 to 807); and

§         Automotive service technician certificates grew by 37 per cent (254 to 348).

 

The overall 2007/08 completion rate for apprenticeship programs is 38 per cent, and the ITA has set a target of 42 per cent for fiscal 2008/09.  

 

Established in 2004 to oversee and expand B.C.’s industry training and apprenticeship system, the ITA works with industry and employers, trainees and apprentices, labour unions and training providers to meet industry’s current and future training needs.

 

For more information on the Industry Training Authority and its complete annual report (available online June 20, 2008), visit www.itabc.ca.

 

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 1 backgrounder(s) attached.

 

 

Media

contact:

Rena Kendall-Craden

Communications Director

Ministry of Economic Development

250 952-0152

Lisa Dooling

Director of Communications and Marketing

Industry Training Authority

604 671-8710

 

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