CHARLOTTETOWN (GNB) – The governments of New Brunswick and British Columbia have signed an agreement which will allow apprentices to seamlessly train in their trade and work in either province.

Premier David Alward and British Columbia Premier Christy Clark signed the memorandum of understanding at the Council of the Federation meeting today in Charlottetown, P.E.I.

“With new and emerging opportunities in the construction, oil and gas and forestry sectors on the horizon, this important agreement couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Alward. “It also complements a variety of efforts to support apprentices, create jobs and provide employers with the skilled workers they need for current and future generations.”

The agreement is meant to address immediate and future demand for skilled labour in both New Brunswick and British Columbia and, ideally, contribute to the development of a national apprenticeship mobility strategy.

Differences in provincial and territorial apprenticeship certification requirements mean that for some apprentices, gaining the skills training required to achieve their Red Seal certification can be a challenge if they are unable to move to where the jobs are.

“British Columbia is entering a time of incredible opportunity, not only for British Columbians but for all Canadians,” said Clark. “This is a win-win agreement that provides one more way to meet the labour demands of British Columbia’s growing economy, while helping New Brunswick’s apprentices gain the work experience they need to achieve certification.”

The agreement will remove barriers and benefit both provinces by:

  • accelerating the certification of New Brunswick apprentices in their trades through employment with British Columbia employers; and
  • supporting British Columbia’s labour needs, beyond the supply of its available workforce, during peak labour demands through the mobility of New Brunswick apprentices.

The memorandum of understanding will be fully implemented by this fall. Apprentices will then be able to move freely between British Columbia and New Brunswick to take advantage of job opportunities which support their skills training in the trades.