February 22, 2022

THE BC BUILDING TRADES welcomes a $21 million increase to the Industry Training Authority in Budget 2022.

After years of stagnating budgets, the boost will finally allow the crown corporation to exceed $100 million.

“It is a relief to finally see the Industry Training Authority receive increased funds to support trades training,” said Brynn Bourke, executive director of the BC Building Trades. “This funding is an important step in providing trainers the tools they need to assist the province’s thousands of apprentices.”

The increased funding will support the implementation of Skilled Trades Certification by providing the ITA with additional resources to increase apprenticeship advisors, build a compliance system and provide learning supports for upskilling. Earlier this month, the Ministry of Advanced Education announced an additional $5 million to provide surge funding to assist with wait list relief for the 10 electrical, mechanical and automotive trades becoming certified.

Bourke cautioned that “an increase to the funding formula for skills training across the trades is still critically needed if the system is going to respond and expand to meet industry requirements.”

On average, it costs union trainers $2 for every $1 they receive from the ITA to deliver trades training. The disparity between the cost to deliver training and the funding available from the ITA continues to increase each year as trainers are expected to deliver more training with less capacity and cover the cost of materials while inflation drastically increases the cost of supplies like wood, paint, gas and glass.

In addition to trades training, the BC Building Trades applauds the BC NDP for investing in infrastructure.

Budget 2022 commits a record $27.4 billion to capital spending on hospitals, schools, post-secondary facilities, transit and roads. This investment is expected to create more than 100,000 direct and indirect jobs over the three-year plan.

“These investments in training and infrastructure will have a direct impact on the thousands of construction workers who have dedicated their careers to building our province,” said Bourke. “The benefits only multiply when we deliver projects through Community Benefits Agreements. We’re excited to see the government’s enduring commitment to CBAs in this budget and the expansion of the list of CBA projects with the new BCIT trades building.