March 16, 2021

A NEW SURVEY FINDS that most British Columbians support compulsory certification of the skilled trades and believe certification will make the construction industry safer.

“This poll demonstrates that British Columbians overwhelmingly support a return to compulsory trades certification,” noted Brynn Bourke, interim executive director of the BC Building Trades.

A compulsory trade is a skilled trade that requires training or apprenticeship in order to legally work in that trade. The provincial Liberals eliminated compulsory trades in 2002, and today B.C. is the only province in Canada that doesn’t have compulsory trades training.

A poll conducted March 8 and 9 by ResearchCo. and commissioned by the BC Building Trades shows 80 per cent of British Columbians support restoring compulsory trades in this province. A full 90 per cent of British Columbians believe that compulsory trades will make the construction industry safer due to the requirement for training and regulation, and that compulsory trades will contribute to workers being more highly skilled.

Meanwhile, 89 per cent of British Columbians believe compulsory trades will build consumer confidence and an expectation of quality workmanship.

“The results of this poll could not be clearer,” said Bourke. “British Columbians support and understand the importance of compulsory trades, they believe in compulsory trades, and they think compulsory trades will contribute to increased safety, skills development and quality work in the construction sector.”

The BC NDP government has committed to restoring compulsory trades. The poll also found that 94 per cent of British Columbians consider the government’s initiative either very or moderately important. Interestingly, women and residents 55 and over were more likely to consider the initiative “very important.”

The online survey polled 800 adults in B.C. Results are considered correct plus or minus 3.5 percentage points 19 times out of 20.

Corry Anderson-Fennell, Director of Communications
BC Building Trades