Voice of the Construction Industry

Skills for Jobs Task Force

 

INTRODUCTION:
The Skills for Jobs Task Force was appointed by the Government of Alberta to find ways to expand and strengthen apprenticeship education to meet Alberta's needs for skilled employees and create a strong and prosperous economy.

An important component to this is to find opportunities to improve apprenticeship education, and remove any barriers to expansion.

It is important that we hear the voice of those in Alberta's skills and apprenticeship system, so we understand the challenges you face, what you think is working for you, and what doesn't.

Please take a few minutes to complete the questionnaire below.  Your answers will help support the development of recommendations for Government.  Please feel free to share this to co-workers and friends who are currently in any of the apprenticeship programs in Alberta.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Stakeholder Information:

What apprenticeship program are currently enrolled in?
What year are currently working on?

What region of Alberta do you currently reside in?
Southern
Central
Northern


General Definition or Concept of Apprenticeship:

To start, tell us about your overall impressions of Alberta's apprenticeship education model.

What do you think are the core components of how apprentices learn their trade in Alberta? (i.e., majority of learning on the job?  Integration of technical training at a post-secondary institution with on the job learning?  Learning under a trained journeyperson?)
In your opinion, is an apprenticeship viewed as equivalent to a post-secondary education program?
   Yes    No
Why or Why not?


Strengths and Weaknesses of Alberta's Apprenticeship Education Model:

  • Thinking about the model of apprenticeship you just described, what might be some advantages or disadvantages with the way apprentices learn their trade in Alberta today?
Advantages
Disadvantages

  • A majority of apprentices take their technical training in a block release format, whereby they are released by their employer while they go back to school (usually 6-8 weeks).  With Alberta's changing economy, what are the advantages and disadvantages of this type of format for apprentices?  Employers?
APPRENTICES
AdvantagesDisadvantages


EMPLOYERS
AdvantagesDisadvantages


What are some things that hold apprentices back from making progress and completing their program?
What do you think are some opportunities to improve how apprentices learn their trade?


On-The-Job Training

Thinking about your industry or profession, what level of education and training is required for new hires? (i.e. none, a little, a lot)
Can you explain why? (Is there need for this to change)
Are employers in your industry willing (or unwilling) to take on new employees with little to no knowledge, qualifications or relevant work experience?
  Yes    No
What makes willing/unwilling?
Are employers in your industry willing (or unwilling) to have younger apprentices on the job, such as high school students in the Registered Apprenticeship Program?
  Willing    Unwilling
Please explain?
Is it important that new hires in your industry already have soft skills? (i.e., communication, problem-solving, ability to work on a team, etc.)
  Yes    No
Why or why not?

Mentorship
In your opinion, what is the role or value of mentorship in supporting a quality learning experience for apprentices on-the-job?

Is this an area where additional supports for employers or certified journeypersons in a mentorship role would be helpful?

  Yes    No

If yes, what kind of supports would help you ensure the highest quality mentorship? 


How would that work?


What does that look like?

Can you provide examples?


Is there anything else that could benefit or support employers in providing a quality on-the-job experience for apprentices?


Supports & Incentives for Employers
What kinds of supports or incentives would help employers in your industry hire and sign on new apprentices, particularly those with little to no relevant work experience?  (i.e., financial supports such as tax credits or grants?  Other incentives, such as mentorship or supervisor training?)


Can you give an example?


Would the same or different incentives be useful to encourage employers to provide more RAP style internships to Alberta's high school youth and Indigenous populations?
 
  Yes    No


Why/why not?


Perceptions of Skilled Trades Professions
Apprenticeship programs are currently provided to trades designated under the AIT Act, which means they must be designated either as compulsory or optional certification.

Compulsory certification means that in order to perform any duties that fall within the scope of a trade, and individual MUST be a certified journeyperson, or a registered apprentice working under the supervision of a certified journeyperson.
In your opinion, how does having compulsory certification trades benefit employers?
In your opinion, how does having compulsory certification trades benefit employees?
In your opinion, how does having compulsory certification trades benefit Albertans?
In what ways (if any) does regulating compulsory trades create barriers or challenges for employers or industries?

Final Thoughts
Do you have any final comments?

 

Thank you very much for taking the time to complete the above questionnaire.