New policy to ensure on-site training for Alberta apprentices

Policy to ensuring on-site training for Alberta apprentices 2018 NAIT
Minister Marlin Schmidt and Minister Christina Gray visit with mill work and carpentry students at Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT).

March 2, 2018

A new bidding policy for construction contractors is designed to ensure apprentices receive work experience on all major Government of Alberta-funded infrastructure and transportation projects.

”As our economy recovers, we’re doing everything we can to get Albertans back to work,” says Marlin Schmidt, Minister of Advanced Education. ”We are very fortunate that Alberta’s industry has played such a key role in delivering on-the-job experience, and this requirement is another way for our industry partners to continue their leadership and mentorship of apprentices.”

The new policy requires apprentices – in the 11 construction-related trades – to participate on major public projects in the province valued over $15 million, or those that will require at least two years to complete. In addition, sub-contracts of $500,000 or greater will also be required to comply with the new requirement and employ at least one apprentice.

Trades subject to the new requirement include: plumbing, gas-fitting, refrigeration, air-conditioning mechanics, carpentry, crane and hoisting equipment operations, electrical, elevator construction, heavy equipment technician, ironworker, and sheet metal and welding.

”Alberta’s apprenticeship system plays a central role in ensuring our province develops the skilled workforce that will enable future prosperity and competitiveness,” says Glenn Feltham, president, NAIT. ”Industry plays a critical role in the success of this learning model, through providing training, mentorship and employment to apprentices. This role needs to be recognized, celebrated and encouraged.”

As of Dec. 31, 2017, there were approximately 50,000 registered apprentices in Alberta. About 80 per cent of an apprentice’s training is conducted on the job under the supervision of a certified journeyperson or qualified individual.