Access Trade Training Programs


To work as a certified tradesperson, you need training combined with job experience.

Trades training usually takes from one to five years. Most apprenticeship programs take four years. The technical training takes place in a classroom or shop setting at a public institution such as a college or institute or at an approved private training institution.
To earn your “ticket” as a certified tradesperson in B.C., you must:

  • complete the required on-the-job hours and the in-school training
  • pass the examinations
  • earn the recommendation of your sponsoring employer.

Trades training in B.C. gets high marks from participants. In a 2014 survey of apprenticeship students, 96 percent said that the quality of instruction was good, very good or adequate.
Find out more about training for a career in trades.

  • Programs for Youth – Get a head start on your training. Check out Youth Programs that give you the chance to try out different trades while you’re still in high school.

From the website

Water Cooler March 2016 : Gender equity: What’s your work worth?


by Melany Hallam

SURVEY QUESTION: Do traditional gender roles still exist in your workplace? Yes/No

Recently, I saw the movie Suffragette, about the experiences of a group of women in 1912 England who worked to win an equal opportunity to vote. I knew in theory what had happened back then, but seeing it dramatized in that way was eye-opening to say the least. Women today would never put up with that kind of bullying and society-wide paternalism — or would they?

In Canada, there is still a difference in pay between men and women who are hired to do the same jobs. This gap varies depending on age, education and occupation. For example, in 2010, Statistics Canada found wider gender pay differences for older workers. Women aged 25 to 34 earned 78.3 cents for each dollar paid to men of the same age and for women aged 45 to 54, the percentage was 75.7 cents for every dollar going to men. Looking at differences by occupation, the largest pay gap appears to be in health-related occupations, where women earned just 47 cents for every dollar earned by men.

Maybe you thought that pay inequity in Canada is a thing of the past, but there are still many examples of it today. Justin Trudeau may have appointed equal numbers of women and men to his cabinet “because it’s 2015,” but we have a long way to go before reaching equality in the general workforce.

All of this got me thinking about my own employment experiences. As a person of the female persuasion, a couple of questions still remain unanswered for me to this day:

(1) Why does physical strength rate more pay?

One thing that has always irritated me no end is that I’m not as strong physically as a lot of men. As a student, I worked as a labourer in a mining operation where workers were paid more based on the jobs they did. For example, if you operated a jackhammer, you were a paid a couple of dollars more per hour. My female co-worker and I were never asked to do this work so we raised the issue with our supervisor. We were then given the opportunity to try it, and just about got carried away by the machine. It was kind of funny at the time but, looking back on it now, here’s what I learned: A female who works hard and smart on a daily basis isn’t valued as highly as a male co-worker who does the occasional job that requires greater physical strength.

(2) Why does one occupation rate a higher pay scale than another?

In the mid-1990s, I worked for the federal government in a job which was classified as “ST”, which meant it was secretarial. It was also a job classification that was dominated by women. Little did I know that, back in 1984, my union had filed a human rights complaint, arguing that another female-dominated classification of federal employee, “CR”, was being paid less than male-dominated classifications for similar work.

If you’ve never worked for the federal government, you need to understand that the classification system determines everything about your job: your entry-level pay, when you get raises, how much vacation you get, etc. So this complaint was a pretty big deal. It would eventually prove to have wide-ranging consequences for me and 230,000 other Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) members, past and present.

After a four-year joint study with the union, the Human Rights Tribunal found that, indeed, the CR category was being discriminated against. But the ruling was never implemented. Discrimination continued. In 1990, PSAC filed another complaint on behalf of the CR classification plus five others, including my classification, ST.


Well, this continued back and forth until 1999, when the Tribunal delivered a final decision in favour of the union and then negotiated a compensation deal for employees retroactive to 1985.

At last — some action! This meant that the feds had to pay out a total of $3.2 billion in back wages and interest, of which I got a very small and unexpected part (I bought a hot tub with it, in case you were wondering).

I like to think that the reluctance on behalf of the feds to pay employees what they’re worth had more to do with the amount of money involved than the fact that most of us were female. But I still wonder…

So what is all this reminiscing in aid of?

March 8 is International Women’s Day. Here are some inspiring facts for you from the official International Women’s Day website, gleaned from numerous global studies of women in leadership:

  • Women are the largest emerging market in the world
  • More equality > higher GDP
  • More equality > more productivity
  • Better gender balance on boards > better share price and financial performance
  • More gender-balanced leadership > better all-around performance
  • More women political leaders > more prosperity

On March 8, take time to celebrate how far we’ve come — and think about how far we still need to go. I know I will.


Further reading:


Helping single parents find work: The BC Single Parent Employment Initiative


Finding a job isn’t always easy as a single parent. The Single Parent Employment Initiative offers supports that help single parents on income or disability assistance plan for their future and gain the skills they need to succeed.

The program can provide up to 12 months of funded training, or on the job training through a paid work experience and pays for child care and transportation costs for eligible single parents.

Donald and Jodi are just two of the single parents who have already accessed the program through their WorkBC Employment Services Centre.

You can be social and socially responsible – A holiday message from Minister Coralee Oakes

Tweets –

Are you a single parent on income or disability assistance in B.C.? Get supports you need to help you find work

Single parents on assistance can access tuition and child care supports to help them find work.

Support with tuition and childcare are helping this single mom on assistance find work

Facebook –

Jodi’s back in school and looking to open her own landscaping business thanks to the Single Parent Employment Initiative. Find out how single parents on income or disability assistance can receive support with tuition, childcare and transportation costs to help them find work.

New to town? Here are some tips

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New to town? Welcome!

Here are some links to info you might find interesting in regard to finding employment:

  • First of all, if you are not working or in school, OR if you are working fewer than 20 hours per week, we highly recommend booking an appointment with a Career Link Career Counsellor– drop by or call us at 604.485.7958 to determine your eligibility and to find a time that works for you. This is the best way to find out about local jobs, who is hiring or likely to hire, training, higher education, Wage Subsidy and apprenticeship possibilities, local resources, and recommendations on your current resume (if you have one, please bring it in on your first visit with a counsellor).
  • The drop-in Career Lab (open 8:30am-4:30pm Monday-Friday) contains our job board, newspapers and training/community boards, photocopier/scanner/fax/phone/printer and computers you can use for job search. There is help at hand from our crack team of Career Lab Advisors (Rob, Giovanni or Shelley depending on the day and time of day of your visit). Advisors are there to help you navigate technical problems, review your resume or cover letters with you, and to provide additional information and tips to help you land that job! The Career Lab offers free coffee, tea and snacks as well.
  • Our own site has lots of info; our blog is and our Facebook page — all very active with regional and local news and job postings. You can sign up to receive daily “Job Alerts” from Career Link via email! Click here. You will receive 2 emails once you sign up to confirm your subscription. If you do not receive these, please check your SPAM filter.
  • Note that our Facebook page and on-site bulletin board at our location will display many more jobs than the job alerts (which contain only jobs that employers specifically ask us to post for them).
  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Powell River Living (general info) Magazine (back issues available online)
  • City of Powell River (jobs with the City here) list of businesses here. Business Licencing.
  • The Powell River Regional District (jobs with them here)
  • New site on investing/living in Powell River Powell River Peak newspaper (job listings here and here)
  • Powell River’s “Vital Signs” report 2015
  • Some of our larger single employers in town are inclusion Powell River, Catalyst paper, Vancouver Coastal Health and School District 47, and The PREP Society (of which Career Link is a part); plus the larger retail and food service outlets (Safeway, Walmart, Tim Hortons, McDonald’s, Quality Foods, Save on Foods, Shoppers Drug Mart, Staples), and quite a few more assisted living organizations. If you drop by Career Link we can print out a list of them.

Again, employment counsellors are able to meet with you only when you are residing here, but anyone is welcome to use our info services ion our self-help lab. There are many community services available to you as well, via this great new website



Hope this helps-



GD2168_SingleParents_Poster_Print (2)

The SINGLE  PARENT  EMPLOYMENT INITIATIVE can help you secure employment by providing opportunities such as up to 12 MONTHS OF FUNDED TRAINING for in-demand jobs or PAID WORK  EXPERIENCE PLACEMENTS.

In addition, CHILD-CARE COSTS  ARE COVERED during training and in the first year of employment.



or YOUR LOCAL WORKBC  CENTRE, Career Link (#103, 4511 Marine Ave. Powell River, BC

Open Mon-Fri. 8:30AM-4:30PM

Work BC’s Single Parent Employment Initiative: Starting Sept. 1, 2015

Single Parent Employment Initiative - Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation, Province of British Columbia
Single Parent Employment Initiative – Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation, Province of British Columbia

On March 12, 2015, the B.C. Government announced the Single Parent Employment Initiative.

Effective September 1, 2015, the following changes will be made to existing income assistance policy and employment programming to support single parents on income and disability assistance find and secure long-term sustainable employment.

  • Expansion to the current Employment Program of BC (EPBC) to allow single parents onassistanceto accessadditional services and supports throughWorkBC Employment Service Centres, such as paid work experience placements and up to 12 months of funded training.
    • If a single parent is assessed as needing training in order to gain employment in one of today’s in-demand occupations, they will be able to continue receiving income assistance for up to 12 months while participating in an approved training program.
  • Additional child care and transportation supports while participating in EPBC.
  • Once employed, single parents that are eligible for the child care subsidy will also have access to additional child care supports for up to one year.

Additionally, effective September 1, 2015, all families on assistance will receive an increased earnings exemption and have access to transitional health supplements for up to 12 months after leaving assistance for employment.

View the Government of B.C. news release for more information.

 Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Who is eligible?
  2. How does someone access the program?
  3. What will be covered?
  4. Is there a tuition cap if participating in training?
  5. What if someone is exempt from employment obligations?
  6. What service options will be available through WorkBC?
  7. If someone has prior training or a degree, will they still qualify for the program?
  8. What training programs will be offered?
  9. Can someone take the first year of a 4 year degree program then go to student financial assistance for years 2, 3, and 4?

The Government of B.C. will invest $24.5 million over five years to help single parents on income and disability assistance transition into the workforce with skills that align with today’s labour market.

Who is eligible?

Single parents on income or disability assistance are eligible to participate in the Single Parent Employment Initiative.

How does someone access the program?

Beginning September 1, 2015, single parents on income or disability assistance that are looking to re-attach to the labour force will receive more information from their caseworker on how to access services and supports through a WorkBC Employment Services Centre in their area.

What will be covered?

Based on individual need, participants will have access to a range of supports, including:

  • Paid work experience placements.
  • Tuition and education costs for approved training programs that last up to 12 months for in-demand jobs.
  • Additional child care and transportation supports while participating in EPBC.
  • Once employed, single parents that are eligible for the child care subsidy will also have access to additional child care supports for up to one year.

Participants will also be able to remain on income assistance for up to 12 months while attending training.

Additionally, effective September 1, 2015, all families on assistance will receive an increased earnings exemption and have access to transitional health supplements for up to 12 months after leaving assistance for employment.

Is there a tuition cap if participating in training?

There is a $7,500 tuition cap.

What if someone is exempt from employment obligations?

They will be able to take advantage of these new opportunities if they are looking to find sustainable employment; but, their assistance status will remain unchanged.

What service options will be available through WorkBC?

WorkBC will provide many paths to employment. Paid work experience and funded training are a few options. Single parents will work with employment counsellors at WorkBC Employment Services Centres like Career Link to help them determine the best route to finding a job.

If someone has prior training or a degree, will they still qualify for the program?

Participants will receive an individualized assessment through WorkBC. If someone already has skills for an in-demand job then WorkBC will focus on how to help them best apply these skills to the job market.

The intent is to enable single parents to gain long-term sustainable employment. BC 2022 Labour Market Outlook PDF provides an overview of jobs we expect to be in-demand in BC. While not every job listed in this report will be funded by this initiative, as some require more than 12 months training, it provides good context to understanding the labour market in BC.

If a single parent is assessed as needing training in order to find and secure employment, some examples of training programs that will be covered in the initiative may include: Early Childhood Education; Administrative Assistant; Medical Office Assistant; Special Education Assistant; and Welding Foundation.

Staff at WorkBC will work with single parents to assess their skills and their current needs and connect them with the necessary services and supports required to gain employment.

Can someone take the first year of a 4 year degree program then go to student financial assistance for years 2, 3, and 4?

The training focuses on programs that can be completed within 12 months. The goal is that at the end of the training the person would be job ready. Anyone who wants to take a longer program can access student financial aid. Staff at WorkBC would help them find the right program and the right funding source (including grants available to single parents).

A Primer for Jobs with BC Ferries

Working with BC Ferries


For most applicants, a career with BC Ferries tends to start on a temporary or part-time basis. The majority of work open to the public starts as on call shift personnel who handle everything from customer service aboard a ship, to attendants in terminals. Covering a spectrum of work on both land and sea, BC Ferries is one of the largest employers in British Columbia. Shore-based positions require that applicants be at least 16 years of age, and hold a valid drivers licence.

For oceanic operations however, requirements include being 18 years of age or older, with certain key certificates. To work aboard a ship as a deck hand with BC Ferries (or any maritime company in BC), you are required to carry MED (Marine Emergency Duties) certificate. However, to work aboard BC ferries, all positions fall under the requirements of the Transport Canada Bridge Watchman Certificate which when taken through the Western Maritime Institute contains:

After the candidate has provided Transport Canada with the above prerequisites, the candidate must succeed a written examination conducted by a Transport Canada Examiner to receive the Transport Canada Bridge Watch Rating Certificate of Competency. The entire course is 360 hours long and is designed for Entry level seafarers, however it does require that you already have a valid Seafarer s Medical or signed WMI waiver form as well as be 16 years of age to apply for these certificates.

For more information from the Western Marine Institute you can go to their web page about the Transport Canada Bridge Watchman Certificate, click here.

BC Ferries also offers a number of industrial jobs to those with mechanical training and certificates. For those not interested in working on a ship, but rather in maintenance and repair, B.C. ferries is constantly looking for people who can keep the many ships that they operate up to date, and fully functioning.

These jobs however require considerably more experience 3-5 years of engineer experience for most of them, as well as a valid Transport Canada Motor Certificate which varies depending on the level needed for the job. For information about Transport Canada and where they operate on the west coast, you can find a full list of there offices here.

For information on the other positions that BC Ferries offers and what those jobs require, click here, and for all the current opportunities across BC’s coast, click here.

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