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Pre-apprenticeship Training for Roofers
Background Briefing for Provincial Ministries and Advisory Boards

The Roofing Task Committee of SMARTHINC(1)  is proposing a new Pan Canadian roofing pre-apprenticeship.  This program is designed to reduce worker turnover and improve safety in the trade.  In the view of the committee, increasing apprenticeship registrations and worker certification is the best way to deal with labour market issues.

Members of SMARTHINC were carefully selected to represent all provinces, advisory committees and industry groups.  Union and non-union contractors participated in the work of the committee.   The Directors of Apprenticeship, through the Industry Relations Committee of the CCDA, were continually monitoring the deliberations and have indicated their support.

The committee has carefully reviewed existing systems and avoided any duplication of work.  Experienced trainers from several provinces have reviewed the plans and their input is reflected in the final proposal.  Each stage of the training process has room for instruction in safety regulations and procedures that are specific to your province.

Why Pre-apprenticeship?

Strong markets and shifting demographics will increase the demand for new roofers.  The industry must compete with other employers to attract young people with needed skills and aptitudes.  The pre-apprenticeship program is designed to promote careers in roofing and to attract and retain new entrants in a safe and promising work environment.

The proposed training is designed to complement existing apprenticeship training.  Provincial authorities will be encouraged to review the plans and grant, where appropriate, credit for prior learning or work experience for workers entering apprenticeship.  Workers will be encouraged by the program to consider apprenticeship as a future option.

Employers and their associations understand that many provinces are introducing new health and safety regulations that will require orientation training included in the new program.  In this sense, the proposal is simply a more efficient and convenient way to adapt to new standards of safety.

One objective of the program is to increase the mobility of the workforce among employers and across provinces.  As roofers progress through the program they will join a growing national workforce of skilled workers.   Employers will recognize the program as a strong qualification in recruiting.  The proposed system will facilitate movement from province to province and workers will be confident that their work and training will be recognized by employers and trainers.

For further information, please call:
Bob Brunet, Canadian Roofing Contractorsí Association (CRCA)    1-800-461-2722
Mark Curtis, Sheet Metal Workers Internatiola Association    1-800-448-4177

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1.  The Sheet Metal and Roofing Training and Human Resources National Committee (SMARTHINC) has nineteen members selected from all provinces and from union and non-union employment.  A Roofing Task Committee of 26 specialists designed the pre-apprenticeship program with support from Prism Economics and Analysis.