Alberta Trade Contractors Association (ATCC) Update on the Global Apprenticeship Summit-2023-09-28

Karen Rutherford, Executive Director of the Alberta Roofing Contractors Association (ARCA) attended the Global Apprenticeship Summit, held 2023-09-28, in Ottawa, on behalf of the Alberta Trade Contractors Association (ATCC). Karen updated the ATCC board, on her findings, on Friday, 2023-20-06. The event was sponsored by the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum and attended, in person, or virtually, by a large contingent from many countries across the globe.

First and foremost, Karen was thrilled to see that Alberta (and British Columbia) seemed to be a global leader in Apprenticeships, based on the model that we have enjoyed for the past several decades. She was also pleased to have the opportunity to meet with representatives of Australia and Switzerland who shared many valuable ideas that they are employing to continue to draw apprentices to the trades. Karen commented that the US and many African countries are very far behind where we are today. However, she also cautioned that while Alberta making all trades restricted (still short of mandatory) was a ground-breaking step, that many of the aspects of assessment, education, and testing that the Alberta model is seen as shifting towards go against the ideas and ideals expressed unanimously across the summit. Key to these were the need for change, to adapt to a changing workforce, in a changing world, the need for supporting apprentices, pre-assessments completed by Post-secondary Institutes (PSIs), that English be mandatory (especially for us in Alberta), that final examinations be mandatory, and that industry and jurisdictions (governments) need to start promoting trades and trade educations at the grade seven level.

It was universally recognized that globally, there is a skilled trade shortage, which will only get worse as our aging population reaches the retirement age. The average age of a journey person in Canada is now 57, and the demographics of our population has changed to where we now are weighted to older rather than younger people. A lot of very positive ideas generated through the summit, that jurisdictions will need to embrace to stem the loss of skilled workers and to continue to build for the future. These include:

Link to the UN Report Attached:

See Karen’s slides at