New policy ensures on-site training for Alberta apprentices

Above: Minister Marlin Schmidt and Minister Christina Gray visit with mill work and carpentry students at NAIT.

by Morinville News Staff

The government says a new bidding policy for construction contractors will ensure apprentices receive work experience on all major Government of Alberta-funded infrastructure and transportation projects.

Starting this month, proponents on large-scale, public infrastructure projects will be required to use apprentices in the 11 construction-related trades.

The government’s new policy makes apprentice participation mandatory on major public projects over $15 million, or projects that will take at least two years to complete. Sub-contracts doing work valued at $500,000 or greater will also be required to comply with the new requirement and employ at least one apprentice.

“As our economy recovers, we’re doing everything we can to get Albertans back to work,” said Marlin Schmidt, Minister of Advanced Education. “We are very fortunate that Alberta’s industry has played such a key role in delivering on-the-job experience, and this requirement is another way for our industry partners to continue their leadership and mentorship of apprentices.”

NAIT President Glenn Feltham said Alberta’s apprenticeship system plays a central role in ensuring the province develops the skilled workforce that will enable future prosperity and competitiveness.

“Industry plays a critical role in the success of this learning model, through providing training, mentorship, and employment to apprentices,” Feltham said. “This role needs to be recognized, celebrated and encouraged.”

Carpentry, crane and hoisting equipment operations, electrical, elevator construction, gas-fitting, heavy equipment technician, ironworker, plumbing, refrigeration and air-conditioning mechanics, sheet metal and welding are affected by the new rules.

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