BY RUSSELL HIXSON - Construction craft worker is now B.C.'s 48th Red Seal trade.
Industry Training Authority (ITA) CEO Gary Herman said the decision was made in response to the high demand for skilled workers in northern B.C.
"Our construction industry has said that this is very important to them and ITA is listening," Herman said.
"We are very happy to announce this."
According to the ITA, recent liquefied natural gas (LNG) projections indicate that a scenario with five LNG plants being constructed in B.C. between 2015-2024 would create a total industry investment of $175 billion. This would create up to 100,000 jobs: 58,700 direct and indirect construction jobs, 23,800 permanent direct and indirect jobs for operations, and thousands more of induced jobs as a result of households having more income.
Construction Trade Helpers and Labourers are at the top of the list of in-demand LNG occupations, with an anticipated demand for 11,800 Construction Trade Helpers and Labourers by 2018.
Construction Craft Workers work primarily outdoors.
They do site preparation, site clean-up, set up and remove access equipment, and working on concrete, masonry, steel, wood and precast erecting projects.
They handle materials and equipment, and perform demolition, excavation and compaction activities.
"Our organization is very excited about having the CCW Red Seal occupation in B.C. This program validates the work that our members have been doing for over 85 years," said Dean Homewood, training plan administrator, Construction & Specialized Workers' Union (CSWU) Local 1611, in a release.
"This occupation will unite the CCW program across Canada and allow for the transferability of trained workers Canada-wide. The program is needed because the Construction Craft Worker (Labourer) is the top manpower position required on the LNG project and/or the pipeline project."
Randy Callaghan, field personnel advisor for PCL Constructors Westcoast Inc. said he is pleased to support the program which he believes will recognize the high levels of skills craft workers need to do their jobs.
"The formal technical training will increase the skills and abilities of the tradesperson while increasing both the productivity and quality of the work performed for the employer," he said.
Currently, craft workers are trained on the job.
Herman said right now the ITA has requests out for training providers to teach the program. He said it is two four week technical training courses. The ITA is planning to start that in December.
Herman said that those who go through the program would be ready to work on any jobsite.
Existing craft workers with the required number of hours and an endorsement from their employer that they have attained 70 per cent of the scope of the trade can apply to take the Red Seal test.
Herman also noted that the ITA hopes First Nations will take advantage of the new Red Seal trade, which he believes is a great pathway into the construction industry.
He said Red Seal will offer mobility around the country and within the industry to try other trades.
"You can work on construction sites in any sector and basically in any location," he said.