Did you know that the skilled trades are in demand in Manitoba? Based on the 2018-2024 Manitoba Labour Market Occupational Forecast, there will be 21,600 job openings for the occupation group (Trades,transport and equipment operators and related occupations) during this period. If you are an immigrant and internationally experienced tradesperson, here are the steps to start practicing your trade in MB:
Learn about the trades
Go to Apprenticeship Manitoba to learn about the more than 55 trade programs in the province. You will find that there are voluntary and compulsory trades. Compulsory trades require you to be a registered apprentice or a holder of a Certificate of Qualification. The Certificate of Qualification is proof that you are qualified to work in a certain skilled trade. There are nine compulsory trades in Manitoba: Construction Electrician, Industrial Electrician, Crane and Hoisting Equipment Operator, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic, Sprinkler System Installer, Steamfitter-Pipefitter, Hairstylist, Esthetician and Electrologist.
Measure your skills
Know how your skills measure up to Canadian standards. This will give you a good idea about your chances of getting a job or passing the Certificate of Qualification. A great tool to use is TradesInfo.ca. This website will help you determine your comparable trade and certification name in Manitoba, as well as any skill areas that you may need to improve. It is free to access and use the tools on the website but you will need to create an account.
Improve your English language skills:
Working in this field and taking the exam require that you have good language skills. For most trade programs, a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of 7 or 8 is recommended, with some trades requiring level 9. Apprenticeship Manitoba refers clients to the Winnipeg English Language Assessment and Referral Centre (WELARC) for language services. They may also refer you to Manitoba Start, which also provides newcomers with information and assistance to prepare for employment in Winnipeg.
Earn the Certificate of Qualification/Find employment
If your work is among the compulsory trades, you have to challenge the Certificate of Qualification to become a certified journeyperson. You have to be a Manitoba resident and residing in Manitoba to do this. There are three main requirements to become eligible to challenge the exam: demonstrated minimum number of years working in the trade; demonstrated minimum number of hours working in the trade; and demonstrated experience in at least 70 percent scope of the trade. If your specific trade does not require you to be a certified journeyperson, you may start looking for a job.
Get in touch with Apprenticeship Manitoba
Apprenticeship Manitoba is the province’s authority in training in the skilled trades leading to certification as journeyperson. Its mission is to provide access to training, supports and certification of skilled workers to help meet the needs of Manitoba industry. You will find the necessary forms to apply for the examination or for training programs on their website. You will also find learning supports and resources for the exam. Apprenticeship Manitoba can also validate your out-of-province trade credentials when you submit a Certificate of Recognition application. You can consult them on how to proceed with your career.
If your trade is compulsory: After you have met the eligibility requirements mentioned in #3 (as evaluated by Apprenticeship Manitoba) and determined your skill level, take the exam to get a Certificate of Qualification. Passing it means that you are now a certified journeyperson in your specific trade. You may now be employed and work in your field. Beyond this, you can choose to earn your Red Seal certification. The Red Seal Certification is the standard of excellence in the skilled trades. When you pass the exam to earn the certification, you are considered an expert in your field. The certification is also recognized Canada-wide which means that you can practice your trade anywhere in the country.
Learn more about the Red Seal Program.
If your trade is voluntary: It is not required, but earning a Certificate of Qualification means that you can earn more money, have more job security and better employment opportunities. You will also be allowed to pass on your knowledge through on-the-job supervision. Earning the Certificate of Qualification can be done through an apprenticeship program. Apprenticeship will allow you to earn while you train. Take note that employment is a key part of apprenticeship. Apprenticeship Manitoba coordinates the apprenticeship training system. Before registering an apprenticeship agreement, a person must find an employer willing to hire them as an apprentice. The apprenticeship agreement is a form signed by both the apprentice and employer, which is registered by Apprenticeship Manitoba.
Learn more about Apprenticeship Programs.
Do you need special accommodations for the exam?
Apprenticeship Manitoba has a duty to accommodate, and makes every effort to consider special accommodations for examinations to candidates with disabilities or language barriers to provide them with a fair opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge on a theory examination. If English is not your first language, you may ask for permission to use a translator, a reader or a language dictionary. Information on supports available can be found here: Supports and services. More information on special accommodations can be found here: Special accommodations information.
Sources: With information from Julie DeVoin, Public Affairs Specialist of Communications Services Manitoba and Apprenticeship Manitoba; Apprenticeship Manitoba; Apprenticeship Manitoba Program Handbook 2014/2014; and Trades Qualification Brochure, Apprenticeship Manitoba. Accessed November 20, 2018.
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