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R. Sultan: first of all, it's great to have you here. Seems like old times.

i just wanted to observe that when itac was rather abruptly dismembered when this present government came into power, perhaps some mistakes were made. i get the impression that the centre of gravity has been moved back closer to the original model than some of the initial directions indicated. it seems to me…. at's reassuring because, obviously, organized labour in par- ticular has an important role to play in this whole system. So i'm encouraged by your report on that aspect.

  • e big question i had as i listened to the presentation,

Kevin having recently reviewed some numbers on the immigration ow into British columbia and the fact that one in three of our citizens are now from some other country originally, one in three — was: how successful is your organization in providing services in a cultur- ally sympathetic fashion to all of these people coming from dierent parts of the world to British columbia? are they equally participating in trades training? i guess that's really what it boils down to.

[1050]

K. Evans: anks for the question. it's a very im- portant question, because i think we all know that the fundamental foundation to meeting our future labour demands in this province is going to be from immigration.

first of all, the way that the federal immigration laws are currently structured, more weight is given to im- migrants who have either a nancial or an academic background. ey do not provide a number of points or emphasis on people with trades backgrounds. in other words, we are seeing fewer immigrants who ac- tually have a trades background, but nevertheless, we do. i understand the minister of immigration, federally, is going to be adjusting that in the near future.

We're anticipating that, and we have invested over the last two years a great deal of time and energy. We have enlisted our national counterparts and other jurisdic- tions to develop something called maP. it's an acronym for multiple assessment pathways.

currently when an immigrant comes to British columbia with skills in a trade, what they would do is to challenge the red Seal exam. ey would write an english or french multiple-choice exam. now, rst of all, it's english or french. Secondly, it's a multiple-choice exam, which has all sorts of biases, and not everyone is great at writing exams.

So we have been piloting in British columbia and leading the way nationally with a series of assessment tools, which would include practical assessment, com- petency conversations, documentary review and, yes, perhaps a theoretical written component as well. We've already piloted with the cook program. We're piloting with heavy-duty equipment right now.

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We are working, as i say, with our other jurisdictions to ramp this up so that we have these tools available for the high-volume trades, so that when we do have more immigrants who are coming into British columbia with a trades background, we can set them up for success ear- lier and get them into the economy earlier and producing earlier, for the economy and for their families.

S. Simpson: i have questions in two areas. e rst one relates to challenges. i believe and i don't know what the number is now — the last time i looked about some- thing in excess of 20 percent of the completions were through course challenges — people who had obviously brought a skill set and were able to challenge, and com- pleted that way. it wasn't necessarily through having gone through a training program, but people largely out of in- dustry who came in and challenged for apprenticeships and received their approvals through challenges.

  • at's ne, but what i wonder about is whether the

ita is comfortable with that number, or is that number growing, with challenges? and contrast that with the need to actually get more young people, more women, more first nations — whatever into skills training to provide them with the background to enter into industry and into these trades versus people who are there already at some level and are challenging to upgrade.

i'd just like your comments about whether you think that piece of actually providing the training to folks who can enter into the sectors and build good careers for themselves and good-paying jobs for their families ver- sus people who are challenging up.

K. Evans: right. Well, thank you again for a very im- portant question. e actual numbers are that last year we had 1,407 challengers out of a system which had 41,800 registered participants. at's 41,800 going up through the apprenticeship stream and 1,407 coming up through the challenge stream.

  • S.

    Simpson: out of how many completions?

  • K.

    Evans: Well, the actual number of certicates of

qualication that were issued last year was 7,179. e

  • gure i don't have here, but i can get for you, is what the

actual success rate of the challengers was. i don't have the actual number, but i know it's in the range of 50 per- cent. it's actually quite low, because the challengers have not had the benet, rst of all, of writing an exam for a very long time and also the learnings that you get up through the apprenticeship stream.

  • ere's no question that the preferred model is work-

ing up through that apprenticeship stream. But it doesn't

  • t everyone, and it's not necessary for everyone, which

is why we have that challenge stream. i know that there have been some concerns expressed that as we develop maP and we enhance our ability for

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