Culture_Shift: Planning the Future of Trades Training and Apprenticeship in BC
BCCA member companies employ over 75 percent of the apprentices in the construction industry. The organization has a keen interest and strong history of supporting trades training, playing an active role in training issues on behalf of its member companies and continuing to promote and support future growth and development of the system.
This paper was commissioned to promote discussion with regard to the next evolution of the BC trades training system; of promoting an understanding of the core elements of the training system and their functions; and, to propose a series of next steps for moving forward.
The BCCA is interested in working collaboratively with government, industry, and other key participants to develop a multi-year plan for the future growth and development of the trades training system. This would include development of a future vision for the system; the development of strategic and operational plans; and identifying appropriate investment decisions for the trades training system.
If the trades training and apprenticeship system is to remain relevant to the needs of industry, employers, and the system at large, it must stay abreast of the times by adapting to new technologies, evolving business practices, and fluctuating economic activity. The paper makes two core assumptions: that the demand for skilled workers will continue to be strong in the future, and that the supply of skilled workers will diminish as a result of changing demographics.
The thesis presented in this paper suggests that if industry is to continue to have access to a pool of skilled workers going forward, the training system will need to adopt a more proactive approach to planning the future evolution of the training system than has been utilized in the past. It is also suggested that the training system will need to evolve towards a model which places greater emphasis on recruitment and retention, and a model which sustains the system’s training capacity and increases its ability to respond to changes in demand.