Your path to becoming a qualified trades person

Becoming an Apprentice

  1. First, find an employer willing to take you on as an apprentice. If you have taken a Foundation (pre-apprenticeship) program you may qualify for Level 1 Technical Training credit towards your apprenticeship. Note that the Foundation Program or successful challenge of the exam is a prerequisite for the Heavy Duty Mechanic Trade Apprenticeship. The ITA is requesting an original transcript of your marks be attached to your ITA registration form upon applying for apprenticeship.

  2. Complete the Trainee (Apprentice) and Employer Registration Form. This registration form can be printed off the Industry Training Authority (ITA) website at ITA BC or by calling 1-866-660-6011. Once your application has been processed you will receive a letter from the ITA office indicating your Registration & Apprenticeship ID#. These ID#s are needed for when registering for your apprenticeship training dates.

Scheduling In-School Technical Training

Apprentices are responsible for scheduling their own in-school training sessions. To apply, call the Apprenticeship Department at 250-740-6227 or email apprentice@viu.ca

Apprenticeship Programs

For all apprenticeships, approximately 80% of the training is done on-the-job and 20% is in-school technical training delivered at an accredited training institution. To become certified, an apprentice must complete on-the-job experience, successfully passed all in-school technical training and passed the Provincial or Inter-Provincial Examination with a 70% or better.

The Interprovincial Standards “Red Seal” Program

The Red Seal Program was established to provide greater mobility across Canada for skilled workers. Through the program, apprentices who have completed their training and certified journeypersons, are able to obtain a "Red Seal" endorsement on their Certificates of Qualification and Apprenticeship by successfully completing an Interprovincial Standards Examination.

The program encourages standardization of provincial and territorial apprenticeship training and certification programs. The "Red Seal" allows qualified tradespersons to practice the trade in any province or territory in Canada where the trade is designated without having to write further examinations. To date, there are forty-five trades included in the Red Seal Program on a national basis.

Vancouver Island University currently offers apprenticeship technical training in:

  • Automotive "Red Seal"
  • Baker "Red Seal"
  • Carpenter "Red Seal"
  • Professional Cook "Red Seal"
  • Electrical "Red Seal"
  • Heavy Duty Mechanics "Red Seal"
  • Inboard/Outboard Mechanic
  • Welder "Red Seal"

Automotive Service Technician

Consists of 4 levels or years of on-the-job experience and 4 levels of in-school technical training. Levels 1 & 3 are 7 weeks in length, Levels 2 & 4 are 6 weeks in length.

Carpenter

Consists of 4 levels or years of on-the-job experience and 4 levels of in-school technical training. Each level of technical training is 7 weeks in length.

Please note that the Heavy Duty Foundation (pre-app) Program is mandatory to completing your apprenticeship. If you do not complet the Foundation program, you must challenge the exam or have your employer complete the Module 1 exemption form, which can be found on the Industry Training Authority website at ITA BC

Heavy Duty Mechanic

Consists of 4 levels or years of on-the-job experience and 4 levels of in-school technical training. Level 1 is 10 weeks in length, Level 2 is 8 weeks in length, Level 3 is 6 weeks in length and Level 4 is 4 weeks in length.

Baker

Consists of 3 levels or years of on-the-job experience and 3 levels of in-school technical training. Each level of technical training is 4 weeks in length.

Cook

Consists of 3 levels or years of on-the-job experience and 3 levels of in-school technical training. Each level of technical training is 6 weeks in length. Vancouver Island University only offers Levels 2 & 3 when there is enough interest.

Electrical

Consists of 4 levels or years of on-the-job experience and 4 levels of in-school technical training. Each level of technical training is 10 weeks in length.

Inboard/Outboard Mechanic

Consists of 4 levels or years of on-the-job experience and 4 levels of in-school technical training. Each level of technical training is 4 weeks in length.

Welder

This is a three-stage program. Welder Foundation Program (formerly known as Level C) is completed first and consists of one and one-half hours of classroom instruction each day. Students must complete seven months of the Welder Foundation Program and five months of on-the-job experience as a welder to proceed to Level B.

Level B is only available to holders of Welder Foundation certification. Level B students must complete approximately four months of technical training and eight months of work experience as a welder before being granted the Provincial Ministry Level B certification. Students write the Interprovincial Exam at the end of program completion.

Level A training is available to Level B Certification holders only. Level A students must complete approximately two months of technical training and ten months of work experience as a welder before being granted the Provincial Ministry Level A certification. Upon completion of Level A certification, students may qualify to write the Welding Interprovincial Trade Qualification exam.

To register for Welder FoundationProgram please contact Darlene Norby at 250-753-3245 local 2594.

To register for Welding Levels 1, 2 or 3, please contact michael.hallam@viu.ca at 250-748-4529 ext 3703

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