R. Lee: ank you for the very comprehensive pres- entation, Kevin. You mentioned about aboriginal youth training. i know that the Bladerunners are very suc- cessful — those programs. community groups like SucceSS run training groups like the roong program, and of course, at high school you have the ace-it pro- gram — very successful. ose programs, i assume, would be ongoing in the future.
my question is on the red Seal. We have a very high success rate. What's the secret of that? at's one ques- tion, and another question is…. is is the national standard, so people are very mobile. i think that the u.S. is using some similar program as well. e red Seal is recognized in the u.S.
in terms of labour mobility, do we gain, say, labour- ers with red Seal qualication, or are we losing red Seal labourers to other jurisdictions? What's the mobility on the red Seal labour with that qualication? So this is another question.
another question that hit me when you did your pres- entation is…. You said that during the recession maybe the demand for training actually decreased, but some of the literature i read said that when you are in a re- cession, more people actually go into training instead. What's the answer to that?
K. Evans: Well, let me start with that one. You're right that it is counterintuitive, for the trades, that in a recession you would see a lessening demand for train- ing. e reason for that is that an apprentice needs a sponsor. ey need an employer, and if an employer…. recessions are bad for apprenticeship — always have been. apprentices are the rst to be laid o. employers are oen not in a position to take on additional — or even keep — apprentices, as i mentioned.
in the last two recessions, in the '80s and the '90s…. nationally we lost 50 percent of our apprentices in those recessions — both those recessions. So if history is…. We're already seeing in British columbia — i have to underline this as a concern — a reduction in the number of training participants we have in the system and in the number of employers who are participating.
 it took ten years, in the previous recession, to get back to those pre-recession numbers of employers and appren- tices. We do not have, in British columbia, ten years to make that recovery. We know — the conference Board of canada tells us — that by 2015 we're going to be 160,000 positions short in this province. We need to address the issue of the impact of the recession on trades training.
With respect to the red Seal's success, i believe it's an indicator that our instruction is to the standards, be- cause the red Seal exams are from the standards. at's why i think it's such an important indicator of qual- ity assurance of instruction, both on the job and in the classroom.
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With respect to other jurisdictions, i know that there are some…. e demand and awareness of red Seal in the States, for example, is in pockets. it's not widespread, so we are not seeing an exodus of workers with the red Seal to the united States.
if anything, right now the pressure is…. ere are a lot of tradespeople in the united States that are looking for work, and we've got to be taking a look at that ow from south to north.
e actual mobility — and we've got data on this — of
red Seal tradespersons in this country is smaller than most would think. You know, red Seal's been around for 50 years to promote mobility. only about 4 percent of journeypersons actually move across this country to where the work is.
b. Ralston (Chair): i put myself on the list next. i wanted to thank you for the presentation, on both sides.
Kevin, i think you've answered one question i had. When one looks at the report, there's no mention of…. on the chart on page 26 there's a mention of labour, and that's it. on the list in the appendix, page 56, there's no mention of any labour organizations being part of the consultation process. i think that in your written pres- entation there wasn't either, so i'm glad you added what you said earlier.
obviously, there are organizations like local 170, i think it is — the piping industry. ey just spent $7 mil- lion to build a training facility, and it's state of the art.
e painters and glaziers have a nishing trades institute.
again, they're a training partner. ey spent a couple of million on that. So there is a commitment by some parts of labour to intense training at a very high level.
i understand your wish to remove politics from it, but as a practical matter, you mentioned the two-year gap.
e whole system just disintegrated, and there was a gap
of two years where there was no training. ere was no organization responsible. So i'm glad that you've been able to rebuild some condence.
i guess my question is…. ere were certainly some public statements earlier in this process, particularly in the earlier part of the decade, that the red Seal pro- cess and the way in which it required training across all aspects of the trade was too cumbersome and that the output in terms of labour cost was too expensive. ere was a view expressed that it was more important to train people to do certain modules.
one example i was provided with was…. have a guy that can solder copper pipe horizontally, and i can pay him ten bucks an hour, as opposed to someone who's more skilled and would command a higher price in terms of their labour.
ere was that debate. i understand that you're mov-
ing beyond it, but i just wanted to hear, on the record, your commitment to the red Seal process as the method