About the College of the BC Building Trades

The College of the BC Building Trades is an association of training providers affiliated with the construction unions that belong to the BC Building Trades.

Our more than a dozen trade-specific schools and connected campuses stand alone in offering wrap-around supports and the best quality training available. We are BC’s most comprehensive college specializing in the Building Trades.

The College of the BC Building Trades is the leading authority on trades training in B.C.

Our graduates are always in high demand and will go on to build B.C.’s future skylines and most iconic infrastructure, from the hydroelectric dams and expansive bridges that power and connect communities, to major stadiums and convention centres that host the world on our doorstep.

We map our students’ journey to ensure career success, offering the students we accept the best job security in the Building Trades.

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Interested in Becoming an Apprentice in the Skilled Trades?

With the highest completion rates in BC, the College of the BC Building Trades can help you get started as a registered apprentice and gain access to competitive wages, benefits and training.
  • An apprenticeship is the process by which you become a skilled trades person.
  • As an apprentice, you will earn-as-you-learn, working under the supervision of a certified journeyperson to learn the skills of your trade.
  • Approximately 80% of an apprentices’ time is spent on the job and 20% in technical training.

Step 1: Find a trade that works for you.
Explore the trades and determine what trade might work for you.

Step 2: Find apprenticeship opportunities. There are two ways to start an apprenticeship.

  1. Complete a Foundations Program

    You can complete a trades foundation program at one of our schools. This will qualify you for your first year of technical training. The majority of students get hired as an apprentice following this training.

  2. Start as an Apprentice

    You can have an employer hire you to get on-the-job experience. This is also known as “direct entry.” Many of our schools and affiliated unions can support you in accessing these jobs.

Step 3: Become a Registered Apprentice.
By attending the College of the BC Building Trades, you will be sponsored as an apprentice by the relevant trade school. The school will register you as an apprentice with SkilledTradesBC, monitor and submit your training hours, track your technical education and get you the support you need to complete your apprenticeship.

College advisors are available to support you in accessing these opportunities.

The skilled trades encompass a broad range of hands-on occupations. Speak to an advisor today to find out what path is right for you.
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About the BC Building Trades

The voice of the unionized construction sector since 1967, the BC Building Trades comprises 25 affiliated trade unions chartered by 13 international unions. Our 45,000 members include pile drivers, cement masons, electricians, operating engineers, bricklayers, ironworkers, millwrights, insulators, carpenters and other skilled trades workers who support their families and invest in their communities by building this province.

We believe in local economic investment through the development of a highly skilled construction workforce – a workforce whose members earn family-supporting union wages, have access to benefits and training opportunities, and play a key role in the overall prosperity of British Columbia.

About the Joint Board System

B.C.’s Building Trades unions have a long history of training in B.C. Unions and their contractor associations created joint training boards to build the most sophisticated and robust training system in the province. Apprentices are connected to training and advocacy through their union and a network of employers that will support them throughout their training and into their career.

We have capital assets of nearly $50 million, which include brick and mortar facilities as well as state-of-the-art equipment to ensure our students are well-prepared for lifelong careers in the skilled construction trades. And we invest more than $31 million a year in student learning through instruction, support staff and educational resources.

Trades training is at the foundation of all our unions. One in six members of the BC Building Trades is an apprentice. Our schools are committed to building a strong, highly qualified, domestic workforce for the future.

Unions understand the need for a constant stream of apprentices in order to maintain a stable membership. We provide the support and mentorship necessary for apprenticeship success. Building Trades unions continue to set the highest standards and maintain the highest completion rates in the province.
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