Addressing Labour Shortages in the Mining Sector: Policy Options to Increase Employer Engagement with BC's Apprenticeship System

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This study assesses the ability of British Columbia’s apprenticeship system to engage BC’s mining and smelter companies to generate more apprenticeship positions. Supplemented by a literature review, ten semi-structured interviews are conducted with apprenticeship stakeholder groups. Industry and union representatives are consulted to determine relevant factors affecting apprenticeship positions as well as ways to increase industry participation. Interviews are also used to evaluate policy options. Industry participants do not cite significant barriers to increasing apprenticeship numbers; the positions are closely tied to economic conditions in the industry. Improving aspects of in-class technical training could improve industry “confidence” and increase investment in the system. The study recommends reducing tax credits to large businesses and diverting the savings to finance the expansion of Industry Training Authority (ITA) level exams to improve the relevancy, standardization and quality of technical training.
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