Cut Provincial Red Tape to Increase Apprenticeships: C.D. Howe Institute
TORONTO, May 1, 2013 /CNW/ – Outdated provincial regulations are
needlessly limiting the number of apprenticeship opportunities
available to trades workers, according to a report today from the C.D.
Howe Institute. In “Access Denied: The Effect of Apprenticeship
Restrictions in Skilled Trades,” authors Robbie Brydon and Benjamin
Dachis say that reforming those tight regulations is crucial to meeting
demand for skilled workers.
Skilled trade workers – ranging from electricians to carpenters to
welders – are a crucial component of the Canadian labour force.
However, many employers report shortages of skilled workers in these
occupations, note the authors.
“While federal and provincial governments have targeted many grant and
tax credit programs to encourage workers to become apprentices, myriad
provincial regulations limit how many apprentices firms may hire,” said
Benjamin Dachis. “This red tape is stymieing program efforts and
limiting apprenticeship opportunities.”
Provinces regulate whether workers must complete a certified
apprenticeship to legally work in an occupation, the length of
apprenticeship terms, and the rate at which firms may hire apprentices
relative to the number of certified workers they employ, known as a
“The effect is to reduce the number of people who work in a trade,” said
Dachis. “Furthermore, the trades in provinces with the strictest
journeyperson-apprentice ratios have lower levels of young workers and
workers who manage to find work in these trades have higher incomes,
suggesting that these regulations may be acting as barriers to entry.”
Governments have set these regulations in order to protect workers and
the general public by encouraging workers to gain the proper training
in skilled trades. However, entry restrictions are not the best means
by which to regulate the quality and safety of work, say the authors.
Instead of regulating the rate of apprentice entry, governments should
focus on regulating quality of work and safety standards.
“With recent moves by the federal government to encourage workers to
enter the trades, it is now up to the provinces to eliminate antiquated
regulations on apprenticeship,” concluded Dachis.
SOURCE C.D. Howe Institute