Skilled Trades Certification

Industry Training Authority Supporting The Transition To Skilled Trades Certification (STC)


British Columbia has a strong and effective trades training system that offers multiple pathways for apprentices to achieve certification, however, it is the only province with no designated trades certification. The provincial government is focused on growing a strong and sustainable economy that works for everyone. This commitment includes restoring the province’s compulsory trades system, known as the Skilled Trades Certification (STC), which SkilledTradesBC is responsible for implementing across B.C.

The first 10 trades for STC are:

Electrical trades
1. Electrician (Construction)
2. Industrial Electrician
3. Powerline Technician

Mechanical trades
4. Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic
5. Gasfitter A & B
6. Steamfitter/Pipefitter
7. Sheet Metal Worker

Automotive trades
8. Heavy Duty Equipment Technician
9. Automotive Service Technician
10. Auto Body and Collision Technician

While it is anticipated that the introduction of STC for these 10 trades will be a significant and complex change requiring careful implementation, SkilledTradesBC is committed to ensuring this engagement process is inclusive for all interested and affected parties so that new regulations can be informed by the feedback provided and result in a smooth transition to the new system.

Process and Timeline

On June 11, 2021, the Provincial Government launched a public consultation to raise awareness and seek feedback on the STC initiative.

On August 4, 2021, SkilledTradesBC launched a separate engagement to understand the impacts, concerns and insights of groups and individuals who will be directly impacted by the proposed changes. The active engagement process will run from August 4 – September 17, 2021.

Outreach and Engagement

Engagement is now open!

The SkilledTradesBC  is seeking feedback and input from apprentices, industry, unions, employers, training providers, Indigenous communities, equity groups and other skilled trades partners as part of the transition to STC. The goal of the ITA outreach and engagement process is to create an opportunity to listen to those impacted by the introduction of STC and to identify and understand the impacts. SkilledTradesBC will collect feedback and insights from interested and affected parties.

Outreach and engagement opportunities will include:

  • Virtual information sessions,
  • Virtual focus groups,
  • Virtual interviews with key interested and affected parties,
  • An online workbook/survey, and a
  • Designated point of contact to respond to questions and concerns.

Your feedback will help inform new regulations to support a smooth transition for the proposed changes.

Virtual Information Sessions

The virtual information sessions have now ended. A recording from the event is available to view below.


1. What does Skilled Trades Certification mean?

Trades that are listed under Skilled Trades Certification (STC), see below, will be required to either be a registered apprentice or certified in their trade.

2. What is SkilledTradesBC ’s role in the new Skilled Trades Certification?

The SkilledTradesBC oversees B.C.’s apprenticeship system and will play a leading role in the implementation of the new Skilled Trades Certification.
We will work closely with government and partners to organize and host multiple engagement opportunities across the province in the months ahead as the first step to planning the implementation.

3. What is the purpose of SkilledTradesBC ’s engagement plan and how can I participate?

The purpose of SkilledTradesBC’s engagement is to receive feedback on specific policies proposed by government for the 10 trades listed. This feedback will help inform new regulations to support a smooth transition to the new program.
There are four ways to participate:
1. Attend a virtual information session,
2. Fill out the workbook/survey,
3. Provide input if invited to a virtual focus group or interview, or
4. Share your insights and feedback with a designated contact person.

4. Why is Skilled Trades Certification being introduced and implemented in B.C. now?

On June 3, 2021, the B.C. Government announced their implementation and engagement plan to a Skilled Trades Certification, a change that has been discussed for some time. This change is being implemented to:
· Encourage more people to join the trades so we have the necessary workers for our economic recovery,
· Boost confidence in the work done by tradespeople, and
· Increase opportunities for women, Indigenous people, and young people in trades.

5. What if I cannot afford the training that is required to be certified? Is there financial support available?

There are many financial supports available from the federal and provincial government. Check if you’re eligible for them here, https://www.itabc.ca/grants-tax-credits/grants.

6. Can I continue working while I get my certification?

Yes, technical training ranges from three to ten weeks (per level) so outside of that time, you’ll be able to work.

7. Will there be enough training seats available for this new legislation?

SkilledTradesBC  will continue to work closely with government and our post-secondary partners to ensure people have access to the training they need.

8. Why is B.C. the only jurisdiction in Canada without Skilled Trades Certification or designated trades?

Over the past several years the B.C. government took a different approach to skills training. Our government has determined that certification is the best way to prepare for the demands of the future economy.
SkilledTradesBC is well-positioned to ensure a smooth transition to Skilled Trades Certification and help recruit and train a diverse, highly-skilled and credentialed workforce that is ready to meet those demands.

9. Which trades are affected by Skilled Trades Certification?

There are 10 impacted trades, within three categories:

Electrical trades
1. Electrician (Construction)
2. Industrial Electrician
3. Powerline Technician

Mechanical trades
4. Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic
5. Gasfitter A & B
6. Steamfitter/Pipefitter
7. Sheet Metal Worker

Automotive trades
8. Heavy Duty Equipment Technician
9. Automotive Service Technician
10. Auto Body and Collision Technician

10. How are those in these trades specifically affected by the implementation of Skilled Trades Certification?

If you are a registered apprentice in one of these 10 trades, there is likely little to no impact.
If you are currently certified in one of the 10 trades, there is likely little to no impact.
For unregistered workers, upon implementation of the program they will have a period to register with an employer sponsor where a certified tradesperson can support the apprentice or challenge the process to obtain certification.
For employers, we are encouraging them to prepare for implementation by registering any unregistered apprentices. SkilledTradesBC has a seamless registration process that is accessible online or via mail. We are asking employers to please contact SkilledTradesBC ’s customer service team or to get in touch with the local Apprenticeship Advisor. Information can be found at itabc.ca or by calling our customer service team at 778-328-8700.
If your trade is not included in the 10 trades for STC, there is no action required by you.

11. What will happen if I don’t get certified before full implementation?

SkilledTradesBC will work closely with both employers and workers to ensure they have every opportunity to meet their certification requirements. This model is about supporting individuals to be successful in achieving their certification.
This process will include and consider the most appropriate way to ensure compliance among workers and employers moving forward, once implementation begins.

12. Are there other trades that are being considered for STC?

At this time, we’re focusing on the 10 trades. We will continue to collect feedback and input from our stakeholders to build on Skilled Trades Certification and evaluate the need for additional trades as they come up.

13. If I have my Red Seal (or equivalent), do I still need a Skilled Trades Certification?

No. If you’re already certified in your trade, you’ve already met the requirements of Skilled Trades Certification.

14. Why do we need Skilled Trades Certification when we already have the Red Seal program?

The Red Seal Program is a recognized interprovincial standard of excellence in the skilled trades and ensures recognition of certification for a trade, throughout Canada, without further examination. Skilled Trades Certification is a provincial requirement to be either registered or certified in a trade to legally work in BC. If a person already has an Interprovincial Red Seal they have met the requirements of the Skilled Trades Certification.