Opinion at odds with facts
Re: Kieran Report; Dec. 8-14
Columnist Brian Kieran’s contention that B.C.’s apprenticeship training system is “broken” is at odds with the facts. The system awarded more Certificates of Qualification to new skilled trades journeypersons last year than ever before and there are currently more than 30,000 men and women participating in trades training. A recent drop in employer apprentice sponsorship has followed every recession in all provinces over the last half century. But unlike past downturns, when it has taken a decade to return to pre-recession levels of workplace-based training, we do not have that kind of time. As Mr. Kieran notes, B.C. will soon be facing a skilled labour shortage of at least 160,000 by 2015. This shortage comes as more skilled workers plan for retirement and projects related to oil and gas, shipbuilding and construction continue developing. More than 150 business, labour and training provider participants at the Industry Training Authority’s “Facing the Challenge” conference last week supported a call for a shift towards a training culture in B.C. where employers view investment in work-based training as the price of participation in the development boom B.C. is about to experience. B.C.’s industry training system has never been more ready to support employers and training participants to take on the urgent labour force challenges that lie ahead.
Kevin Evans,CEO Industry TrainingAuthority of B.C.