B.C. Apprentices Succeeding in Workplace



    RICHMOND, BC, Sept. 16 /CNW/ - The results of a nation-wide survey
released today by Statistics Canada clearly show that British Columbia's
apprentices are successfully acquiring skills in demand in the workplace and
helping fill the need for skilled labour in the province.
    The National Apprenticeship Survey (NAS) indicates that 94 per cent of
B.C. apprentices who completed their training are either employed or
self-employed, and that 73 per cent are earning above $40,000 a year (compared
to 71 per cent nationally). The value of trades certification is also clearly
indicated: those who did not complete training earn approximately 20 per cent
less than those who achieve certification.
    "The survey shows what we've known all along - that B.C.'s training and
apprenticeship programs are a good investment for both individuals and our
businesses," said Murray Coell, Minister of Advanced Education and Labour
Market Development. "That's why the government has invested more than
$100 million in industry training and apprenticeship programs."
    "More people are entering and completing apprenticeship programs in our
province than ever before, and this survey tells us why - they are becoming
highly skilled and in demand," said Industry Training Authority (ITA) CEO
Kevin Evans. "In a tight labour market, employers are seeing the competitive
advantage in hiring and training apprentices."
    The number of registered apprentices in B.C. has increased more than 165
per cent since 2004, from 14,676 to 39,307. Research by the ITA indicates that
95 per cent of employers agree their apprentices make a positive contribution
to their businesses.
    Also of note, the NAS highlights the fact that of those who had
discontinued their apprenticeship as of 2004, 69 per cent in B.C. returned to
continue and complete their training (compared to 60 per cent nationally). The
number of apprentices receiving certificates of completion in B.C. grew 48 per
cent last year, to 5,246.
    "The ITA is committed to improving completion rates," said Evans. "This
extensive survey provides invaluable insights into why some apprentices choose
not to continue their training and will inform our strategies to change that."
    While the survey indicated that women, immigrants and visible minorities
continue to be under-represented in apprenticeship programs, the ITA is
developing strategies to increase participation by under-represented groups in
the coming year.
    The National Apprenticeship Survey included individuals who registered as
apprentices in 2002, 2003 or 2004 and covered topics such as labour market
outcomes and factors which led to either successful completion or
discontinuation of apprenticeship training.

    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 further information:

For further information: Lisa Dooling, Executive Lead, Communications
and Marketing, (604) 671-8710 or ldooling@itabc.ca

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INDUSTRY TRAINING AUTHORITY

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