Story adapted from The Vancouver Sun by Patty Bossort
More employers are starting to hire and train apprentices. Hiring apprentices helps corporations get good workers. Working as an apprentice helps workers gain skills on-the-job.
Why do we need more apprenticeship opportunities?
Skilled trades workers “don’t grow on trees,” says one employer. Workers need to be trained. They have to get experience. They need opportunities.
Older, experienced workers are retiring. We need new workers with skills and experience.
What do employers say about apprentices?
Kyle Robertson, electrical contractor
Kyle Robertson owns an electrical contracting business. He hires workers right after their pre-apprenticeship training.
Years ago Robertson started in trades as an apprentice. He was hired through a high school program. He stayed with his sponsor for eight years. Now he owns his own business.
Robertson hires carefully. He wants organized, motivated and eager workers.
“We start off a guy at $15 an hour and just try to get the most out of them as we can. We teach them as quickly as possible so they become useful,” says Robertson.
Dan Schubert, plumbing contractor
Dan Schubert runs a plumbing company. He has 30 employees. Twelve of them are apprentices. Schubert says he often hires kids right out of high school on work experience programs.
Schubert looks for the workers who ask questions. In the past he hired workers for their skills. Now he hires for personality and work ethic.
Why is it hard for apprentices to find a position?
It is hard for an apprentice to find a position. There are a lot of apprentices looking for opportunities. There are not enough employers hiring apprentices. That means there is a lot of competition for the positions.
In Canada, only 1 in 5 employers that need skilled trades hire apprentices.
How can you get help to find an apprenticeship?
The Apprenticeship Job Match service helps apprentices and employers find each other. It is an online tool provided by WorkBC.
They have over 6,000 apprentices looking for positions. They have about 1000 employers looking for apprentices.
Currently, B.C. has 39,000 sponsored apprentices.
Apprentice sounds like: uh-pren-tis
apprentice = a worker in training
apprentices = more than one apprentice
apprenticeship = the worker training program
pre-apprenticeship = training before starting an apprenticeship.
For more information about apprenticeships, click on these links: