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by which apprentices are trained and the standard to which they should be trained, as opposed to picking and choosing a few modules that might suit certain contract- ors in certain elds, particularly in construction, with the view to having them lower-skilled and therefore be- ing able to pay them quite a bit less.

Perhaps that debate is over. Perhaps you've moved be- yond it, but i just want a conrmation that that's the case.

K. Evans: no, i think the debate continues, but cer- tainly, i can provide you with…. it's not only the ita, but it's the province of British columbia and the govern- ment of British columbia that have committed to the red Seal program. i'm the current chair of the canadian council of directors of apprenticeship, responsible for strengthening the red Seal, and we will do that.

  • e question of…. i think it's sometimes euphemis-

tically referred to as the dumbing down of the trades. it does continue. i'll give you an example.

  • e cook industry came to us and said: "our training

program is a mess. it does not reect our realities. e fact of the matter is that there are some apprentices who work in kitchens, and they will not receive the scope of training that's required to actually get that red Seal.

  • e fact is that the structure of our industry is such that

you've got dierent levels of cooks and restaurants, and we have individuals with dierent aspirations."

[1120] We now have, because industry has asked for this and has now embraced this, a series of levels within the cook.

  • e nal level is the red Seal. But there's nothing to say

that someone who achieves their level 1 and is work- ing at a certain category of restaurant is precluded at all from moving up if they desire to be a red Seal chef.

  • e other aspect of that is that we were asking people to

study to be a red Seal chef when they had no interest in being a red Seal chef.

my answer would be that it is an industry-driven sys- tem, and we need to reect the realities of the workplace. i think that one of the areas where this debate has raged most ercely is in residential construction, where the residential construction industry has said: "You know what? We don't need full-scale carpenters for a lot of the work we do. What we need are framers. We need for- mers, and we need people who can do nishing work."

  • e residential ito has developed programs for resi-

dential construction framing technician.

at the end of the day, it's industry and the marketplace that are going to decide whether or not those programs are viable. i have to tell you that the residential ito is having a challenge getting people into that program. it turns out that most of the young people who want to get into that eld want to be a carpenter. if that's the case, and if we do not see movement in those numbers, the program is going to have a tough time sustaining itself. So the debate continues.

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b. Ralston (Chair): i appreciate that. i was told that the example you might choose would be the cook- baker example, which seems to be the one that you've chosen. But i gather that certainly in construction, the debate is…. ere is less industry demand, from what i understand, and there is certainly much ercer resist- ance among a number of quarters, particularly some of the construction unions and some of the union contractors.

Your answer suggests that this is a moving target, that the commitment to red Seal is then always subject to a market test. is that what you're saying?

K. Evans: no. i mean, the fact that we've got residen- tial construction framing technician does not diminish the importance or the signicance of the red Seal car- penter program. e two can mutually coexist. What i am saying is that i think we're going through, as the auditor general said a moment…. When you're doing change, sometimes things need to settle.

When you take a look at the long-term needs, what employers are saying they're going to need from their employees, they need employees who are adaptable, who are multi-tasking, who can move from one job to another. ey're looking for that full scope of trade that i think the advocates of the red Seal that you're referring to are asking for.

it may well be that that's the way, when things settle down, the market actually determines we need to go.

b. Ralston (Chair): anks very much. i have one more minor question.

one of the features of the itac regime that i think was quite valued by a number of people — i know this was the subject of the conference, or one of the recom- mendations that came out of the conference that you held in Victoria last year with a number of representa- tives of employers and labour organizations — was the issue of apprenticeship counsellors.

i think that most people thought that was an eective idea and that it helped apprentices navigate through the system and led to ultimately higher completion ratios and more successful completion of the apprenticeship program generally. is that something that you've taken a position on or are prepared to take a position on at some point in the future?

K. Evans: our position is that we make decisions based on evidence-based research. to that end, it's been about six years now since we disbanded the counsellor structure. it is our plan in the next scal year to conduct a piece of research that will look not just at counsellors but look at the supports that are in place or are not in place for apprentices and for employers.

it seems to me that those who are advocating for coun- sellors are recommending a prescription to a problem

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