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Homes, hospitals, fine dining, kitchen cabinets, and everything in between – these are the services and products that are provided by skilled tradespeople and apprentices in British Columbia.

Nov. 5-11 marks Apprenticeship Recognition Week and the 82nd anniversary of formalized trades training in British Columbia. This week is about recognizing the hard-working and talented tradespeople and apprentices who participate in formal apprenticeship training. Upon graduation, they build up their communities by learning, offering and teaching a trade at the highest standard of quality.

This year alone there are over 35,000 adult apprentices, over 4,000 youth program participants, and over 4,000 foundation students in British Columbia. From arborists to heavy duty mechanics to welders, the Industry Training Authority (ITA) and post-secondary institutions in B.C. offer aspiring tradespeople more than 100 trades programs from which to choose.

Over an average of four years, an apprentice will spend 20% of their time in classroom based technical training, and 80% of their time getting paid on-the-job experience with an employer sponsor. After completing apprenticeship training and exams, an apprentice joins the workforce as a “ticketed” tradesperson.

This is a week to recognize the vital contributions apprentices make to the future of trades, to our economy, and to the workforce of British Columbia. Today’s apprentices are tomorrow’s skilled tradespeople who will be building B.C.’s highways, schools and hospitals.

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