WedneSdaY, noVemBer 17, 2010
e committee met at 10:05 a.m.
ralston in the chair.]
Ralston (Chair): good morning, members. We
have an agenda before us which, in the absence of any objections, i'm going to take as the agenda for the meeting.
e rst item is a report by the auditor general, A
Major Renovation: Trades Training in British Columbia. We'll hear from the oce of the auditor general and the auditor general himself and mr. gaston. ere'll be a response from Joseph ompson, who's the execu- tive director of the ministry of regional economic and Skills development — i think that's the latest incarna- tion — and Kevin evans, ceo of the industry training authority.
With that, i'll turn it over to mr. doyle to introduce himself and his team.
Auditor General Report: A Major Renovation: rades raining in British Columbia
J. Doyle: good morning, members. i'm very pleased to be able to present A Major Renovation: Trades Training in British Columbia. it was published some time ago, but it's still very relevant and very important to go through these issues.
Skilled trades workers play a key role in British columbia's economy. for example, trades workers build houses, schools, hospitals, roads, factories. ey build and repair cars and trucks, and they ensure our homes have running water, electricity, heat and cable. We can't do without them. Public safety, a well-functioning economy and the quality of life are all closely linked to infrastruc- ture built and maintained by the skilled trades.
it is therefore critically important that students in the trades receive proper training to ensure that they are able to do their jobs not only safely but also eectively. apprenticeship is the common model for trades training and has been since the middle ages. traditional apprentice- ships involve a formal relationship between a master trade worker, a journeyperson; and a student, an apprentice.
although new models of apprenticeship are emerging, most existing trades programs today involve about 80 percent of an apprentice's time being work-based and the remaining 20 percent being provided at school or on line. e length of the apprenticeship can vary by ap- prenticeship and by trade, but most programs require four years to complete. at includes both the in-school and work-based training time.
in 2004 the industry training authority, a crown corporation responsible for trades-training systems
oversight, was created and directed to design and im- plement solutions to some key issues within the trades training system — namely, trades-training exibility, industry involvement in trades training and improved outcomes for trades training. Since its creation the ita has introduced signicant changes intended to improve the trades-training system in British columbia. most notably, they have introduced the concept of industry training organizations, or itos.
itos represent a major change to the government structure of the trades-training system. how an organ- ization like ita chooses to manage change is critical to its success. rough the trades-training audit, we iden- tied areas where change management could have been better implemented. i'm pleased to report that it's my understanding that all the recommendations that owed from this particular audit have now been implemented or substantially implemented.
Sitting next to me is malcolm gaston, who's assistant auditor general responsible for this area within the of-
ce. he will now give a brief presentation.
Gaston: good morning, chair and members. e
trades-training system is complex and is comprised of many dierent organizations and stakeholders. ese include the ministry; the industry training authority; industry training organizations, which are industry- directed entities that report to ita and are responsible for developing and managing industry training pro- grams within a particular industry sector; employer and labour groups and individuals who sponsor and train individuals; public and private post-secondary institu- tions and school districts that deliver trades-training programs; and, of course, the learners in the system: ap- prenticeship and pre-apprenticeship students.
e purpose of our audit was to examine how well the
government and ita were leading and managing the trades-training system.
We concluded that while the provincial government and ita had established a new model for trades training, they had not provided sucient guidance and direction to its partners and stakeholders to put the model into practice. e ita had not suciently consulted or col- laborated with its stakeholders in developing its plans and strategies.
at the time of our report ita's more recent eorts to improve communication and coordination were prom- ising, but further improvements were still needed in a number of areas. as part of the report, we recommend that ita develop, in consultation with key stakeholders, an action plan to address the issues identied in the re- port. i'll go over each of these now.
e trades-training system in B.c. depends on in-
dustry support and engagement to operate eectively. recognizing this, the provincial government directed ita