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challengers to go that route, we are going to see this whole ood of people who are deciding to go the chal- lenge route. Well, that hasn't happened on the cook trade that we've piloted because the new assessment tools are actually more rigorous than the exam. So we don't an- ticipate that happening.

S. Simpson: as a bit of a follow-up with that, is it your intention, though…? i've heard those concerns as well

  • that more and more people will be looking at the chal-

lenge route versus coming up through the skills-training route. What tools are you putting in place to be able to monitor and assess that, to just keep your own com- fort levels that in fact those concerns aren't realized and that you're keeping the emphasis on the skills-training route?


K. Evans: right. Well rst of all, let's not forget that those challengers just can't come in othe street and say: "i want to challenge." ey have to have times the hours in the eld, on the tools, than the apprentice has.

clearly, we'll be monitoring those numbers. We'll be monitoring the total volume of challengers that are com- ing through the system and also what their pass rate is. if we see that there is a problem, it may be that we need to take a look at the front end, the gate. is the gate too easy to walk through in the rst instance?

But clearly it's something that we will be monitoring because, as i said, the outcomes show that the appren- ticeship route…. it's a centuries-old mechanism. it works pretty darn well. it works well for a reason. So it's our intention to ensure that we maintain a very healthy balance between those two routes.

S. Simpson: is relates to the quality assurance issues that you addressed. i guess they were in, i think, recommendation 4. i'm interested in knowing what kinds of requirements you're working with around the private trainer designations and the requirements and how available that information is.

again, i've heard some concerns about that, and of course, we've seen that in other areas — not necessar- ily in the areas you're working in. But of course, we've seen some problems with some of the private institutes and colleges around other areas where we know the ministries and others have had to intervene because of organizations that were less than reputable, it turned out at the end.

i don't know that that's at all the case with your folks, but what work do you do around requirements for private trainer designation, and how do you follow that up?

K. Evans: Sure. anks for the question. first of all, about 15 percent of the training in British columbia is

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provided by private trainers, and 85 percent is provided by the public sector. We do have it's posted on our website; perhaps we need to market our website a bit more aggressively — the procedures for a private trainer that wishes to be designated by the ita. ey are there.

  • ey are being used by private trainers. i have to say, we

have not had a ood of demand from private trainers in the past 12 months. i think the market has kind of sta- bilized in that respect.

We have been working, as i indicated in my pres- entation, with the private career training and industry association — Pctia — which is responsible for desig- nating all private trainers in the province, both to ensure that we are adhering to their best practices with our designation policies and to look at whether or not there are some economies of scale. currently there's some duplication between what we're doing and what Pctia is doing, and we're talking to Pctia at this time with re- spect to how we might enhance our designation process and also get greater eciencies.

if i may…. You also asked a question about women and immigrants and aboriginals. ten million dollars of labour market agreement funding is going to that this year. as i mentioned, $1.4 million of that is going to two union organizations. We absolutely need to enhance the participation of under-represented groups in this prov- ince if we are to meet the labour supply demands.

Women are very under-represented in the trades. e actual percentage numbers distort the fact because most women who are involved are in the service trades. ey are not in, for example, the construction trades or the resource trades, and yet we are now learning what some of the key issues are. ey are issues that require a pretty signicant, but we believe worthwhile, investment on the front end.

daycare is one example. Basic supports, transporta- tion, shelter. We are now developing a case through our lma spending which will, i think, provide a very, very impressive and persuasive business case that those in- vestments are, in the long run, good for the province of British columbia.

aboriginals is a similar area. it's going to require some up-front investment in essential skills, in some life skills. it's not a lack of money with respect to aboriginals, fed- eral and provincial. it's a question of focus, and we are endeavouring to identify what the best practices are.

in short, it is key to the future and also key to the so- cial licence of the industry training authority that we need to ensure that industry training in this province is accessible to all British columbians.

S. Simpson: Just a follow-up on the question of first nations. What level of discussion or collaboration or consultation are you having with the signicant first nations organizations in the province which would be paying attention to that?

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