Apprenticeship Period Exams Returning for 2023/24 Academic Year
Following an Alberta Industry Round Table, held 2023-04-18, in Edmonton, with Kaycee Madu, Minister of Skilled Trades and Professions, and his Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship team, Apprenticeship Period Exams will be returning for the 2023/24 Academic Year. The email from Minister Madu is as follows:
As Minister of Skilled Trades and Professions, one of my goals is to help foster collaboration between government, our education and learning partners, and industry representatives to ensure that Albertans have the skills they need to secure our province’s future.
On April 18, I had the privilege of meeting with a wide range of skilled trades industry representatives to identify opportunities to leverage the new Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Act and create transformational outcomes to meet the labour needs of our province moving forward.
As part of our meeting, the topic of apprenticeship period exams and their current suspension was also discussed in-depth. I want to thank everyone who attended for sharing their viewpoints on this matter and many others. Your feedback was important for me to hear so I could decide on a course of action that best serves the future of Alberta.
I heard you loud and clear that the period exams are considered a significant component of our apprenticeship education model, and a vital tool to help develop the world-class apprentices that our province is known for educating. Based on your engagement, I have made the decision to reinstate period exams for the 2023-24 academic year.
I want to be clear that this does not mean we can be complacent. To remain a global leader, we must continually evaluate our processes, and I want to challenge industry to consider the future of apprenticeship assessments wholistically, including on-the-job instruction and mentorship.
In the coming months, my department will be connecting with you to set up mechanisms to gather your feedback and share information. Hearing from industry on this matter is imperative, and I can assure you that you will be involved as we move ahead.
Once again, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me.
Yours very truly,
Honourable Kaycee Madu, KC, ECA
Minister of Skilled Trades and Professions
With this aspect of industries concerns on the new Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Education (STEA) Act and the Designated Trades and Restricted Activities (DTRA) Regulation, which governs all trade’s journey people and apprentices, resolved, that leaves us with a number of concerns that still need to be focused on. These include:
- Defining the role of labourers, currently not discussed or allowed in the DTRA, within our sphere;
- Resolving and right sizing the DTRA’s restrictions on glazier duties-where the DTRA mixes residential window installation, all storage and handling of glass, and other defined duties that are not as currently performed as described in the construction industry;
- Defining who will be enforcing these new restrictions, and how;
- Dealing with levels of technical knowledge required to handle aspects of our jobs such as working at heights, handling various products and applications, etc.;
- Understanding what will replace the PAC/LAC link back to the ministry, and how this new linkage to industry, promised for the fall of 2023, will work;
- Dealing with some of the more esoteric issues driven by the government and the ministry such as ‘parity of esteem,’ recognition of two-year diplomas and a ‘new credit system’ by post-secondary institutions, the proposals put forth in the Alberta Government’s “Career Education Task Force-Final Report-March 2023” and their implementation, as well as the ministry’s desire to work on industry culture and understanding what is meant by this and what effects this might have.
For more information on this, or to get involved, please email the PGAA at email@example.com.