In 2013, there were 93,430 apprentices who began their training. By 2019, six years into the program, those who registered in 2013 were less likely to certify in their trade and more likely to discontinue, compared with those who had registered in 2011 and 2012. This leads to growing concerns about the potential shortage of certified tradespeople or skilled workers as the population of certified tradespeople ages.
A new study available today looks at certification rates for apprentices who began their training in 2013 and where they were in 2019, six years into the program. This analysis serves as an important baseline for understanding the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on apprentices as they undergo or complete their training. Preliminary data from a recent Statistics Canada article suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic may have negatively impacted registrations and certifications in the trades in 2020, potentially adding to the declines in certification for apprentices.
Just under one-third of apprentices had certified in their trade six years after registration
Many apprentices take longer than the program duration to certify in their trade. Certifications and discontinuation rates among registered apprentices vary widely by trade and are influenced by many factors, such as age, previous apprenticeship training, type of trade and whether certifications are mandatory to work in the trade.
While program durations vary by province and trade, the most common program duration for all trades at the national level is four years.
In 2017, four years after registration, approximately one-fifth (20.9%) of the 2013 cohort of apprentices had completed their training and one-third (35.4%) had discontinued. By 2019, just under one-third of (32.9%) had certified, while almost half had discontinued (45.4%).
In 2019, six years after registering in their program, certification rates were highest among Red Seal trades, including powerline technician (62.1%), industrial mechanic (millwright) (50.5%), agricultural equipment technician (47.8%) and truck and transport mechanic (47.3%). At the same time, 10 of the 25 Red Seal trades had discontinuation rates greater than 50%, with the highest being ironworkers (66.2%), painter-decorators (62.1%) and motor vehicle body repairers (58.2%).
Apprenticeships are especially vulnerable to economic fluctuations, since most training requirements are dependent upon the completion of on-the-job hours. Economic downturns, such as the decline in oil prices from 2014 to 2016 that had greater effects on resource-rich provinces like Alberta, could negatively impact an apprentice’s ability to maintain employment and meet the on-the-job criteria required by their trade. According to the Labour Force Survey, from 2014 to 2016, there was an increase in unemployment in the industries where apprentices are most concentrated, such as construction (+8.7%), and forestry and fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas (+50.7%).
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story @ The Daily — Pathways indicators for registered apprentices in Canada, 2019