Options for Industry

Historically, trade designation and apprenticeship education in Alberta were linked. All designated trades had associated apprenticeship programs, and all apprenticeship programs had associated trade designations.

The Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Education Act provides increased flexibility to separate these two important pieces and enable industries to determine the regulatory and/or education model that best meets their needs. Under the new act:

  • Professions may be designated as trades with or without an associated apprenticeship education program or industry training program, and
  • Professions may establish an associated apprenticeship education program or industry training program with or without a trade designation.

What is a Designated Trade?

  • Designated trades are professions that are regulated by the Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Education Act.
  • Activities within the scope of a designated trade may be restricted, meaning they may only be performed by authorized individuals.
  • To become certified in a designated trade, an individual must meet requirements and standards recognized by industry and the Government of Alberta.
  • Individuals certified in a designated trade will receive a Journeyperson Certificate.

What is an Apprenticeship Education Program?

  • Apprenticeship education programs consist of paid on-the-job learning complemented by classroom instruction at a post-secondary institution. On-the job learning makes up the majority of the program.
  • Completion of an apprenticeship education program allows an individual to receive an education credential to recognize completion of the program. This credential supports life-long learning opportunities in other post-secondary programs.
  • Completion of an apprenticeship education program in a designated trade allows an individual to receive trade certification authorizing them to work in the trade.
  • Industries may utilize the apprenticeship education program model of work-integrated learning with or without being a designated trade.
  • Apprenticeship education programs allow for apprentice wages and apprentice-to-mentor ratios to be regulated.

What is an Industry Training Program?

  • Industry training programs will provide flexible education options for industry groups where apprenticeship education programs do not meet industry needs.
  • Industry training programs consist mainly of on-the-job learning and may also include some form of classroom education provided by an industry-designated training provider.
  • Completion of an industry training program allows an individual to receive an education credential that recognizes completion of industry provided training.
  • Completion of an industry training program in a designated trade allows an individual to receive trade certification.
  • Industries may utilize the Industry Training Program model of work-integrated learning, with or without being a designated trade.

What are some considerations for establishing Apprenticeship Education Programs, Industry Training Programs, and/or Designated Trades?

Various considerations will be taken into account to determine which option is suitable for industries that wish to establish new apprenticeship education programs, industry training programs, and/or designated trades.  Considerations may include, but are not limited to:

  • Size of the industry
  • Support from the industry
  • Length of program
  • Need for activities to be completed by qualified individuals
  • Regulation of wages and apprentice-to-mentor ratios
  • Type of education delivery
  • Desire for Red Seal endorsement