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Minister's Committee on Entry Level Trades Training (ELTT)

and Apprenticeship Training - Final Report

December 18, 1996


table of contents

Purpose of Committee

Problem/Issue Identification

Operating Principles

Relevance

Accessibility

Closer to Home and Work

Responsiveness

Accountability

Optimal Utilization and Efficiency

Recommended Approach

Appendix 1

1. Coordinating Model - A Standing Committee

2. Consolidation Model - An Advisory Board


PURPOSE OF COMMITTEE

As stated in the November 5th agenda which was circulated prior to that meeting, the purpose of the committee, as a working group of representatives of the Provincial Apprenticeship Board (PAB), representatives of Governors, Chief Executive Officers and unions within the college and institute system, business and union representatives, and the Deputy Ministers of Education, Skills and Training and Labour, is to make proposals for broadening access, improving coordination and increasing effectiveness of government spending on entry-level trades training (ELTT) and apprenticeship training.

In his opening comments, the Minister, the Honourable Moe Sihota, talked about the need to expand the current system, to move apprenticeship forward to be a leading-edge training vehicle for the 21st Century, and to ensure that the apprenticeship and ELTT systems are rationalized and clearly linked in the best interests of the worker/learner and industry.

He expressed his frustration with the lack of progress in moving forward in this regard, and noted his determination to change attitudes, improve opportunities for access, and expand and revitalize the system.

The Minister challenged the committee to address the issues in a way that encompasses his vision, i.e., an expanded industry training and apprenticeship system which is current and relevant to the needs of industry, workers and learners.

The timeframe for making these recommendations is December 31, 1996.

That Minister indicated that, if the committee is unable to agree upon ways to resolve the identified problems and expand the industry training and apprenticeship system, he will act unilaterally on the advice of his Deputy Ministers and the committee’s independent facilitator.

The Committee members have agreed that, while they all bring the expertise and perspectives of their community of interest, they will represent the interests of the system broadly. The members developed a paper containing three options which they took back to their constituencies for review and feedback. This document reflects those consultations.


PROBLEM/ISSUE IDENTIFICATION

There was recognition that both apprenticeship and ELTT are valuable and effective methods of training/learning and that bringing them together fosters the concept of a broader industry training and apprenticeship system. However, it was agreed by the committee that the following issues need to be addressed:

There is duplication and overlap between the apprenticeship and ELTT systems and these areas of duplication need a thorough trade by trade, occupation by occupation, and program by program review. The committee does not have the time and/or resources to undertake this review.

There is recognition that, while the apprenticeship system responds well to immediate demand, i.e., there is no waste in the system in terms of individuals being trained for non-existent jobs, it may be unable to respond to medium or longer term projections of skills shortages when there are significant downturns in the economy.

There is recognition that ELTT is a valuable form of pre-employment training. It may lead to apprenticeship, other education/training (such as cooperative education, vocational, technical, or academic), employment in occupations in related industries, or to self-employment. Linkages and coordination between the apprenticeship and ELTT systems need to be developed.

Beyond pre-apprenticeship and pre-employment training, there is a recognition that there is public demand for ELTT for consumers who wish to take this training for other reasons.

There is agreement that there needs to be an ongoing mechanism to resolve these issues, to ensure coordination and integration within the system, and relevance and standards which are in the best interests of the worker/learner and industry. In this context, broader questions such as the following need to be addressed:

Where do ELTT graduates go on to after completion of their training and what occupations do they end up in?

How do these occupations relate to apprenticeable trades?

What are the credentials for these occupations, and are they recognized provincially and/or nationally?

If they do go on to apprenticeship, what level of credit do they get for their ELTT training?

Additional data is required to examine these issues more fully, but it either does not exist or would be difficult to pull together in the timeframe given to the committee.

The challenge is to develop a system of province-wide credentials for industry training which focuses on laddering, portability and transferability. The first step to address this challenge is with ELTT and apprenticeship.

There are concerns that ELTT has fostered the growth of a shadow system for apprenticeship, i.e., individuals who obtain their trades certification by challenging the Certificate of Qualification without having completed a formal apprenticeship and indentureship with an employer. However, the magnitude of the issue, the underlying reasons for the growth of the shadow system, and the linkages to the ELTT system require detailed examination.

There is recognition that the lack of coordination/integration within the existing systems may result in a more difficult transition from high school to the workplace and, later on, in the continuous upgrading and lifelong learning of journeypersons and skilled workers.

There is a sense by some committee members that, some courses offered under the ELTT umbrella and through apprenticeship programs are working well and in a coordinated way. These could act as a model for other areas. Further research is required in this regard.

There is recognition that there is the need for a body/structure which has the authority to make and implement decisions. Many have expressed frustration that, too often, advice is not acted upon.

The federal government is withdrawing from the funding of apprenticeship and training, including income support and allowances for trainees. The elimination of federal funding is reinforcing the need to look at the delivery of training to ensure that it is cost-effective, efficient, flexible and meets the needs of industry and individuals.


OPERATING PRINCIPLES

The committee agreed that, for a new structure to work to address the above problems, it must be founded on the following general Operating Principles:

Relevance

The industry training and apprenticeship system must be responsive to labour market demand and informed by the needs of industry.

The industry training and apprenticeship system must be relevant to the needs of industry and learners/workers.

Advice will come from a network of appropriate industry and trade advisory committees/structures.

The industry training and apprenticeship system must be seamless in order to facilitate bridging and laddering between trades/occupations, and to encourage transferability/articulation across education and training institutions.

The industry training and apprenticeship system must be industry/learner/worker-centred rather than institution or instructor focused. A role in the Commission’s operations should be provided for instructors and trainers to submit their advice. It must recognize and credit prior learning and practical experience, and a system of laddered credentials needs to be developed and applied province-wide.

The industry training and apprenticeship system must be based on the achievement of standardized competencies, and there must be appropriate recognition, crediting and credentialling of these competencies.

Accessibility

The industry training and apprenticeship system must be accessible for all, and be consistent with broader social policy and equity objectives.

Access to the industry training and apprenticeship system must be user friendly for all, including equity-seeking groups, youth and workers requiring retraining.

The industry training and apprenticeship system must be coordinated with the K-12 education system in order to facilitate a smooth transition from high school to the workplace.

Closer to Home and Work

The industry training and apprenticeship system must be based on province-wide credentials which are transferable across education and training institutions and which recognize provincial, national and/or international standards. However, it must be flexible enough to accommodate regional needs and priorities within this provincial context.

Closer to home/worksite training should be pursued as a principle, bearing in mind that it must be cost-effective, that is consider total costs across the system, and must maintain standards of quality.

Responsiveness

Industry training and apprenticeship programs and courses must be able to respond quickly and appropriately to the changing needs of individuals and the labour market.

Industry training and apprenticeship will be done within the context of a provincial framework and will value and recognize local needs, views and conditions.

The industry training and apprenticeship system should reflect, where appropriate, new and innovative delivery methods.

Accountability

The industry training and apprenticeship system must produce a highly skilled, employed labour force.

The industry training and apprenticeship system must be accountable to the individual, industry and government.

The industry training and apprenticeship system must be outcomes-based. Standards must be clearly defined and consistently applied province-wide to all training receiving public funds.

An assessment system for both the practical and theoretical dimensions of industry training and apprenticeship needs to be implemented and applied consistently on a province-wide basis.

Optimal Utilization and Efficiency

The benefits accruing from a more coordinated and better governed industry training and apprenticeship system will remain in the system and be reinvested in the system to promote access and expansion.

The industry training and apprenticeship system must make the best use of public monies in partnership with private resources to expand the number of trained and qualified individuals.

The governance structure would allow for dialogue on the appropriate division of public and private training responsibilities and investments within the industry training and apprenticeship system.

The partners within the industry training and apprenticeship system must determine the priorities for industry training and apprenticeship, and these must be reviewed in the context of the priorities for the broader education and post-secondary education and training systems.

The industry training and apprenticeship system must be administratively efficient and recognize the role of, and the signficant investment in, public education and training institutions.


RECOMMENDED APPROACH

The Committee reviewed three options as the means to achieve resolution of the problems and issues identified above, and to give effect to the Operating Principles. Following consultation with, and support from, their constituency groups, the Committee makes the following recommendations:

1. That the Minister move to establish a new governance model -- an Industry Training and Apprenticeship Commission (ITAC) -- which is discussed below.

2. That the Minister agree to extend this Committee to provide input from the partners on outstanding issues and concerns with respect to the next steps in implementing the ITAC, e.g., structure and legislation.

The two additional options reviewed by the Committee are attached as Appendix 1.

Governance Model - An Industry Training and Apprenticeship Commission (ITAC)

The ITAC will provide and promote a vision of industry training and apprenticeship for the 21st Century that is attractive to workers, learners and industry, and that is consistent with the economic development needs of the Province.

The ITAC will be a partnership of four groups -- business, labour, education and training providers and government -- and the decisions taken will reflect the views of this partnership. Members, while bringing the expertise and perspectives of their community of interest, will represent the interests of the system broadly rather than their community of interest, and will operate in a spirit of consensual decision-making.

The Industry Training and Apprenticeship Commission will have the authority to: make decisions; effect allocations; coordinate credentialled industry training and apprenticeship programs; and be responsible for ensuring that training delivered meets the credentialling standards as established by the ITAC. The ITAC would not be an advisory board. The mandate of an ITAC would be to:

create a new industry training and apprenticeship system which has the capacity to increase/expand the number of trained people, and to increase the contribution of all partners to the system;

strengthen and enhance industry training, initially apprenticeship and ELTT, and ensure there are linkages between these areas;

set standards and criteria for province-wide credentials for industry training including ELTT and apprenticeship, and apply these to both new and existing training programs;

monitor and enforce standards, and quality of training and credentials, and ensure transferability and portability across training providers;

provide the Minister with both a long term plan and an annual plan which specifies the Commission’s goals/objectives for the year, links to the broader government-wide goals for training and education, and is based on industry needs and priorities. The plan will also include a description of how the operating funds of the Commission will be spent to carry out these goals/objectives;

oversee the administration of the industry training and apprenticeship system, including contractual arrangements with existing public and private institutions to deliver the training courses;

establish, implement and monitor accountability mechanisms to ensure training being delivered meets provincial standards and credentialling criteria;

make and implement decisions regarding the allocation of funding for industry training, including ELTT and apprenticeship, among colleges and institutes and other deliverers on the basis of the voted estimates and appropriations supplied by the Ministries.

No cost increases are required as operating efficiencies will result from the consolidation of resources. New legislation will be required to provide the appropriate authorities for this governing body. Appointments will be made by the Minister.

An interim structure or process will be required until such time as an ITAC is fully operational.

In support of this new governance structure, there is the need for an effective, efficient, and consolidated management and operating structure, including existing apprenticeship delivery staff and appropriate industry advisory structures, that can define outcomes and standards, and assess the quality and results of public and private expenditures directed to achieving those outcomes and standards.


APPENDIX 1

The following are the two additional options which were reviewed by the Committee:

1. Coordinating Model - A Standing Committee

Establish a standing committee to serve as advice to the PAB, colleges and institutes, and both the Ministries of Labour and Education, Skills and Training, respecting the allocation of resources for both apprenticeship and ELTT. The committee would also provide advice on how to integrate the two systems and the appropriate credentialling, curriculum, standards, bridging/laddering and articulation between ELTT and apprenticeship. The standing committee would not have decision-making authorities, nor would it have program delivery responsibilities.

committee would meet semi-annually

existing advisory structures, e.g., PAB and TACs, remain in place

work for the committee would be carried out by existing staff within the Ministries of Labour and Education, Skills and Training

committee would advise the Minister on issues respecting the allocation of resources for apprenticeship technical training and ELTT

committee would advise on how to link/integrate and coordinate the two systems

no change in legislative authority required

no legislative authority to enforce recommendations

will add an additional layer to the system and will, therefore, add additional administrative costs

2. Consolidation Model - An Advisory Board

Establish a revamped industry training and apprenticeship board which subsumes the PAB and advisory committee structures to bring the ELTT and apprenticeship systems together. It would have an expanded mandate and membership comprised of the four partners. It would serve an advisory function with respect to the allocation of resources for both apprenticeship and ELTT. The advisory board would not have decision-making authorities, nor would it have responsibilities for program delivery.

the board would meet regularly and would have a small support secretariat from the Ministries to undertake work on its behalf

planning and funding for ELTT and apprenticeship technical training would be consolidated

integrates the two systems but structure remains advisory only and delivery would be undertaken by the Ministries

board would advise the Minister on the allocation of funds and recommend appropriate changes in curriculum, credentials, standards, etc., to ensure the efficient operation of the new integrated system;

change in legislative authority will be required

may not be more costly than status quo as some efficiencies are likely to be achieved through a more integrated approach

Document dated: December 18, 1996


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Placed on site:  October 9, 1998 by Dan B
? 1998, Industry Training and Apprenticeship Commission