After a recent GAMA dinner meeting, it is apparent that post-COVID, intake of apprentices, vital to the continuation of our industry, especially under the new Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Education Act and the related Designated Trades and Restricted Activities documentation, is waning.

Below are the number of apprentices registered with AIT for Southern Alberta, by period. These are not those registered for school, but the sum total of Registered Apprentices, with AIT, period. 

First Year: 7 

Second Year: 11 

Third Year: 9 

Fourth Year: 26 

Total Registered Apprentices in Southern Alberta: 53 

Did you know? When you register an apprentice, you have up to 18 months to send that apprentice to school! Further, with the new Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Education (STEA) Act, proclaimed 2022-07-20, which repealed and replaces the Apprenticeship and Industry Training Act and added to the Designated Trades and Restricted Activities (DTRA) Regulation of 2022-07-06, glazing duties, as defined in the DTRA can only be performed by certified journey people, registered apprentices, or individuals ‘deemed qualified’ by their employer, described as “any individual who does not  hold a trade certificate but who, in the opinion of the individual’s employer, possesses the skills and knowledge in performing the restricted activity expected of an individual who holds a trade certificate in the designated trade. Labourers are not allowed to perform the restricted activities as defined in the DTRA. 

As with all other skilled trades and the majority of workforces, in all industries, globally, the retirement of baby-boomers, taking their skills, knowledge, and experience with them, is only partially being supplemented by young people, who have yet to gain and learn the skills, knowledge, and experience needed, and immigration where individuals may or may not possess the required skills, knowledge, and experience. Albertans are age at a disproportionate rate. In 1950, the median age in Alberta was 22. Today it is over 30. In 1971, 7% of Albertans were 65 or over, while 31% were less than 16. Today those 65 or over exceeds 15%, while those less than 16 is just 18%. These are not good statistics for the sustainability of our workforce. Given the new rules and the dwindling number of apprentices, our industry and our companies are at risk

Why register apprentices if you’re not planning on sending them to school right away?  Firstly, AIT needs to know how many potential apprentices are available to go to school so they can plan class sizes and number of classes ahead of time. Secondly, as above, with the new STAE and DTRA, you can now only utilize certified journey people, registered apprentices, or those ‘deemed qualified’ (equivalent to a journey person. With construction in Alberta recovering, post-COVID, major infrastructure projects, and the halo effect surrounding those, about to impact the Calgary CMA, we are sadly unprepared to meet the demands for our labour.  

What happens if we do not begin to register our apprentices for school? Without advance notice of apprenticeship numbers, low numbers and lack of involvement, the program will no longer be able to run. Since our businesses can only function with certified journey people, registered apprentices, or those ‘deemed qualified’ (equivalent to journey persons), we need to continue to ‘feed the machine’ by finding, grooming, schooling, and employing apprentices as the future journey people that will drive our industry. 

How can you help? 

How do you register your apprentices?

Contact AIT Officer Rodney Woloschuk directly at or at 1-800-248-4823.