Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship CCDA 2016 Annual Review

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Message from the Chair

Chair Marjorie Davison

I am pleased to provide you with CCDA’s 2016 review of the Red Seal Program. My message aligns with CCDA’s focus on transparency in its efforts to communicate with stakeholders. There is important, relevant information in the following document which I encourage you to share with your partners in apprenticeship training.

The respective roles of the various levels of government may not always be apparent to apprenticeship stakeholders, players and partners. The authority for the administration, regulation and delivery of apprenticeship training programs firmly resides with the individual provinces and territories. A very high level of cooperation exists between the provincial/territorial authorities in their efforts to provide the best possible outcomes in apprenticeship training programs for employers, journeypersons and apprentices. There is also a long standing, well-developed cooperative structure between provincial/territorial authorities and industry partners.

On another level, the Red Seal Program is fueled by the cooperative efforts of the provincial, territorial and federal governments. The Red Seal Program is administered by the CCDA and is an exemplary model of federal/provincial/territorial collaboration that actively engages with Canadian industry to build industry defined standards. These standards enable Canada’s tradespeople to be trained and certified to a global standard. The Red Seal Program was established in the early 1950s and has become a highly successful and recognized model for standards development in Canada and around the world. Combined effort toward a common goal results in better standards, better products, better partnerships, and allows more to be accomplished within existing resources.

The CCDA is in its third year of the Harmonization Initiative and remains on track to achieve its stated goals. This initiative has tasked available resources, but has led to new levels of creativity and innovation resulting in increased collaboration, efficiency and the highest quality in its products. Efforts on this initiative resulted in the development of new products to address the current realities of apprenticeship training programs. As an example, the development of the Red Seal Occupational Standards (RSOS) and its suite of products improves and/or replaces several existing products which will benefit the Red Seal Program and individual provincial/territorial apprenticeship training programs. The greatest beneficiary will be the Canadian industries that actively participate in apprenticeship. The RSOS provides an enhanced role for stakeholders in the development process and the new suite of products will be valuable for industry.  In future, it will be important to reach out to employers not currently engaged in apprenticeship training, with a focus on smaller employers.

To make all of these efforts work, I must recognize the tremendous efforts of staff engaged in the process and the industry participants who willingly offer their knowledge and expertise to contribute to the betterment of their industry through highly relevant apprenticeship training and certification standards.

Harmonization of Red Seal trades remains as the top priority for CCDA. Significant, productive efforts have been made over the past year to address greater employer engagement, enhanced standards and assessment, and improved communications. These priorities have now been fairly well integrated into the core areas of the Red Seal Program. Looking forward, the CCDA will review and enhance its strategic priorities for the future. The intention is that industry partners will continue to be consulted and involved in the enhancement of the Red Seal Program. Innovation, cooperation and collaboration remain as the cornerstones of the Program. Industry involvement is crucial to successful outcomes. As Chair of the CCDA, I look forward to increased stakeholder engagement that will ensure Canada leads in the development and implementation of apprenticeship training and certification standards.

Marjorie Davison
Chair, Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship

Red Seal Statistics

Each year the Red Seal Secretariat collects Red Seal trade statistics from each of the provinces and territories. These statistics focus on the number of Red Seal endorsements issued, Red Seal examinations written, examination pass rates and the top Red Seal trades in the given reporting year. Listed below are the 2016 statistical highlights for the Red Seal Program and Red Seal trades.

Total Number of Red Seal Endorsements Issued by Province/Territory

  Provinces and Territories Since Inception 2016**
Total Apprentice Trade Qualifier
1 Alberta 199,706 8,329 7,497 832
2 Ontario 199,131 9,825 7,428 2,397
3 British Columbia 119,885 5,226 3,381 1,395
4 Saskatchewan 37,451 1,770 1,533 237
5 Manitoba 35,291 1,116 919 197
6 Nova Scotia 27,283 688 552 136
7 New Brunswick 26,994 734 488 246
8 Newfoundland and Labrador 22,682 678 553 125
9 Prince Edward Island 4,290 124 81 43
10 Quebec 2,496 105 105 0
11 Yukon 1,984 66 42 24
12 Northwest Territories 1,535 52 45 7
13 Nunavut* 74 5 3 2
  678,802 28,718 22,627 5,641

*Nunavut began issuing Red Seal endorsements on its own certificates during the 2001 calendar year.

**Calendar year

NOTE: The first Red Seal endorsements were issued in 1959 to apprentices that successfully completed the interprovincial examination in the trade now known as Automotive Service Technician.

Top 10 Red Seal Trades by Number of Red Seal Endorsements Issued in 2016

1 Construction Electrician 5,651
2 Automotive Service Technician 2,531
3 Welder 2,018
4 Truck and Transport Mechanic 1,903
5 Plumber 1,767
6 Carpenter 1,475
7 Cook 1,473
8 Industrial Mechanic (Millwright) 1,458
9 Steamfitter/Pipefitter 976
10 Heavy Duty Equipment Technician 872

Top 10 Red Seal Trades with the Most Red Seal Endorsements Issued (Since Inception)

1 Construction Electrician 119,942
2 Automotive Service Technician 93,954
3 Carpenter 52,198
4 Industrial Mechanic (Millwright) 44,248
5 Welder 42,274
6 Plumber 41,137
7 Heavy Duty Equipment Technician 38,701
8 Cook 29,346
9 Steamfitter/Pipefitter 23,551
10 Truck and Transport Mechanic 21,405

Harmonization Initiative

Strong momentum and collaboration with industry has resulted in excellent progress on the initiative to harmonize apprenticeship training. In October 2016, the Forum of Labour Market Ministers (FLMM) reaffirmed their commitment to the initiative, agreeing to harmonize apprenticeship training for 30 Red Seal trades by 2020 in most jurisdictions (Quebec is an observer), with an effort to harmonize training for two-thirds of Red Seal apprentices by 20171.

The CCDA completed industry consultations and implemented changes for nine of the first ten Red Seal trades2 in most jurisdictions in September 2016. The CCDA also completed industry consultations and is ready to begin implementation for all nine of the Phase 2 trades3 in most jurisdictions by September 2017. Significant progress through industry consultations has been made for Phase 3 trades4 and plans have been established for Phases 4 and 5 through 2020. Red Seal products development is proceeding in line with harmonization. For more information on the CCDA’s Harmonization Initiative, please refer to the Red Seal website.

Red Seal Product Development

To ensure Red Seal products remain current and up-to-date, the CCDA works closely with industry to develop and revise Red Seal Standards and Red Seal examinations. The CCDA strives to be responsive to industry needs and ensure that its standards and examinations reflect today’s workplace requirements. As such, development workshops and industry reviews are held for many of the Red Seal trades every year.

In November 2015, the CCDA approved the introduction of the new Red Seal Occupational Standard (RSOS) that will replace the National Occupational Analyses (NOAs) and Interprovincial Program Guides (IPGs). The standard includes new elements such as learning objectives and outcomes, and industry-expected performance that will better support apprenticeship training and certification. The standard will have the capacity to generate a suite of products targeted to different users, such as Log Books, On-the-job Training Guides and Trade Profiles. The roll-out of the RSOS began in the Fall of 2015 with three Red Seal trades. Additionally, to encourage greater harmonization of apprenticeship training across the country, the CCDA added a new curriculum workshop at the end of the RSOS workshop to allow for the development of a Curriculum Outline.

The RSOS, NOAs, IPGs and Red Seal examinations developed, reviewed and published during 2016 are listed on the following pages.

Red Seal Occupational Standard (RSOS)

Three RSOS and Curriculum Development Workshops were held:

Two RSOS were completed:

National Occupational Analyses (NOAs)

Four NOAs Development Workshops were held:

Two NOAs Industry Reviews were completed:

Twelve NOAs were published:

Interprovincial Program Guides (IPGs)

One Double IPG Development Workshop was held:

One IPG Industry Review was initiated:

Two IPGs were published:

Examination Development

Twelve Item Bank Development Workshops were held:

Nine Red Seal trades had new examinations released, totalling 30 new examinations:

Statistical Information

2014 Registered Apprenticeship Information System (RAIS) Data Highlights

The Registered Apprenticeship Information System (RAIS) is an annual survey conducted by Statistics Canada since 1974. The purpose of the survey is to gather information from provinces and territories on individuals who receive training or certification within a trade where apprenticeship training is being offered.

On September 8, 2016, Statistics Canada released the 2014 RAIS data through a series of Canadian Socio-economic Information Management System (CANSIM) tables. This release was accompanied by an article in The Daily highlighting the main findings of the data.

Key Changes from 2013 to 2014 (results vary considerably by province and territory) 5

Statistical Profiles - Red Seal Trades

In 2014, Red Seal trades accounted for 78% of continuing apprentices. There were 73,245 new registrations, 29,622 apprenticeship completions, and 286,206 continuing apprentices in Red Seal trades. Almost 90% of all apprentices can be found in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia.

Figure 1—Overview of Registered Apprentices in Red Seal Trades 1994–2014

This chart is an Overview of the Registered Apprentices in the Red Seal Trades from 1994-2014.

Source: Registered Apprenticeship Information System (RAIS), 2014

The number of women registering in Red Seal trades has increased from 6,990 in 2013 to 7,521 in 2014. Over the same time period, the number of continuing female apprentices has increased from 24,996 to 26,568. The number of female apprenticeship completers was 3,057 in 2014 and has remained consistent over the last five years. The Red Seal trades with the highest proportion of women as new registrations were hairstylist (88%), baker (67%), and partsperson (41%).

Figure 2—Participation of Women in Red Seal Trades 1994–2014

This chart shows the participation of women in the Red Seal Trades from 1994-2014.

Source: Registered Apprenticeship Information System (RAIS), 2014

In 2014, the median age of new apprenticeship registrants in Red Seal trades was 24 for males and 24 for females. Males made up 90% (65,727) of all new registrations, while females represented the remaining 10% (7,521). Almost three-quarters (71%) of all new apprenticeship registrants in Red Seal trades were under the age of 30.

Figure 3—Age and Gender of New Apprenticeship Registrants in Red Seal Trades in 2014

This chart shows the age and gender of new apprenticeship registrants in Red Seal trades in 2014.

Source: Registered Apprenticeship Information System (RAIS), 2014

In terms of new registrations, the tables below show the number of new registrations for the top ten Red Seal trades in 2013 and in 2014. New registration in these ten trades accounted for two-thirds (65%) of all new apprenticeship registrations in Red Seal trades in 2014.

Top 10 Red Seal Trade Registrations in 2013 and in 2014

Number of New Registrations for the Top 10 Red Seal Trades in 2013
Trade 2013
Construction Electrician 10,173
Carpenter 8,043
Automotive Service Technician 6,054
Welder 4,461
Steamfitter/Pipefitter 3,762
Hairstylist 3,390
Plumber 3,528
Heavy Duty Equipment Technician 2,697
Industrial Mechanic (Millwright) 2,118
Cook 2,091
Top 10 Red Seal Trades (Total) 46,317
New Registrations in all Red Seal Trades (Total) 69,783
Number of New Registrations for the Top 10 Red Seal Trades in 2014
Trade 2014
Construction Electrician 11,538
Carpenter 7,563
Welder 4,992
Automotive Service Technician 4,830
Plumber 4,077
Steamfitter/Pipefitter 3,597
Hairstylist 3,519
Heavy Duty Equipment Technician 2,790
Cook 2,271
Industrial Mechanic (Millwright) 2,073
Top 10 Red Seal Trades (Total) 47,250
New Registrations in all Red Seal Trades (Total) 73,245

Source: Registered Apprenticeship Information System (RAIS), 2014

In terms of completions, the tables below show the number of apprenticeship completions for the top ten Red Seal trades in 2013 and 2014. In 2014, 68% of apprenticeship completions in Red Seal trades were in these ten trades.

Top 10 Red Seal Trade Apprenticeship Completions in 2013 and in 2014

Number of Apprenticeship Completions for the Top 10 Red Seal Trades in 2013
Trade 2013
Construction Electrician 6,648
Carpenter 5,505
Plumber 2,796
Hairstylist 2,073
Automotive Service Technician 2,067
Welder 1,332
Steamfitter/Pipefitter 1,236
Sheet Metal Worker 1,023
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic 963
Industrial Mechanic (Millwright) 909
Top 10 Red Seal Trades (Total) 24,552
Completions in all Red Seal Trades (Total) 35,625
Number of Apprenticeship Completions for the Top 10 Red Seal Trades in 2014
Trade 2014
Construction Electrician 5,154
Carpenter 3,702
Hairstylist 2,172
Automotive Service Technician 1,758
Plumber 1,725
Welder 1,635
Steamfitter/Pipefitter 1,197
Industrial Mechanic (Millwright) 969
Heavy Duty Equipment Technician 873
Cook 852
Top 10 Red Seal Trades (Total) 20,037
Completions in all Red Seal Trades (Total) 29,622

Source: Registered Apprenticeship Information System (RAIS), 2014

Number of Registered Apprentices in Red Seal Trades in Canada in 2014

This chart is an overview of the number of registered aApprentices in Red Seal trades in Canada in 2014.

Fast Facts: Red Seal Program

Members of the CCDA for 2016

Newfoundland & Labrador

Ms. Sandra Bishop, Director

Apprenticeship and Trades Certification Division
Department of Advanced Education and Skills
Confederation Building, 1st Floor, West Block
100 Prince Philip Drive
St. John's, NL  A1B 3R4

Prince Edward Island

Mr. Grant Sweet, Manager of Apprenticeship

Post-Secondary and Continuing Education
Department of Innovation and Advanced Learning
Atlantic Technology Centre, Suite 212
90 University Avenue, P.O. Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE  C1A 7N8

Nova Scotia (Chair of the CCDA)

Ms. Marjorie Davison, Chief Executive Officer

Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
Thompson Building, 3rd Floor
1256 Barrington Street, P.O. Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2P8

New Brunswick

Mr. Michael Barnett, Director

Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour
Apprenticeship and Occupational Certification
P.O. Box 6000
470 York Street
Fredericton, NB E3B 5H1


Ms. Élise Martel, Director

Ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale (MTESS)
800, Tour de la Place Victoria, 27th Floor
Montréal, QC H4Z 1B7


Mr. Royden Trainor, Director

Policy and Programs
Ontario College of Trades
655 Bay Street, Suite 600
Toronto, ON M5G 2K4


Ms. Lesley McFarlane, Executive Director

Apprenticeship Manitoba
Post-Secondary Education and Workforce Development Education and Training
100-111 Lombard Avenue
Winnipeg, MB R3B 0T4


Mr. Jeff Ritter, Chief Executive Officer

Saskatchewan Apprenticeship & Trade Certification Commission
2140 Hamilton Street
Regina, SK S4P 2E3

Alberta (Vice-Chair of the CCDA)

Ms. Carla Corbett, Executive Director

Apprenticeship and Student Aid Policy and Standards Innovation and Advanced Education
10th Floor, Commerce Place
10155-102 Street NW
Edmonton, AB T5J 4L5

British Columbia

Mr. Gary Herman, Chief Executive Officer

Industry Training Authority
800 - 8100 Granville Avenue
Richmond, BC  V6Y 3T6


Ms. Sheila Tarr, Acting Director

Training Programs, Advanced Education Branch
Department of Education
Government of Yukon
P.O. Box 2703
Whitehorse, YT Y1A 2C6

Northwest Territories

Ms. Angela Littlefair, Manager

Apprenticeship and Occupational Certification
Education, Culture & Employment
P.O. Box 1320
Yellowknife, NT X1A 2L9


Ms. Diana Martin, Acting Director of Career Development

Department of Family Services
P.O. Box 1000, Stn 980
Iqaluit, NU X0A 0H0

Employment and Social Development Canada

Mr. Chris Bates, Director
Ms. Josée Landry, Manager

Trades and Apprenticeship Division
Employment and Social Development Canada
140 Promenade du Portage, Phase IV; 5th Floor
Gatineau, QC K1A 0J9


  1. In Ontario, consultations with industry partners on harmonization are led by the Ontario College of Trades. Ontario remains supportive of Harmonization and endorses any effort that enhances the quality of apprenticeship and mobility of apprentices. However, it is unable to commit to implementation of specific harmonization elements or timelines.
  2. Phase 1 trades are: Carpenter, Welder, Metal Fabricator (Fitter), Ironworker (Generalist), Ironworker (Structural -Ornamental), Ironworker (Reinforcing), Mobile Crane Operator, Mobile Crane Operator (Hydraulic) and Tower Crane Operator. Heavy Duty Equipment Technician was moved to Phase 2 to be harmonized with other trades with high levels of common training.
  3. Phase 2 trades are: Automotive Service Technician, Truck and Transport Mechanic, Agricultural Equipment Technician, Construction Electrician, Industrial Electrician, Industrial Mechanic (Millwright), Plumber,  Steamfitter/Pipefitter, as well as Heavy Duty Equipment Technician.
  4. Phase 3 trades are: Boilermaker, Sprinkler Fitter, Concrete Finisher, Landscape Horticulturist and Sheet Metal Worker.
  5. In 2013, some jurisdictions implemented administrative and operational changes to their apprenticeship administrative data which impacted all data collected including the number of registered apprentices, discontinuations and certifications. Interpretation of the data should be made within the context of these administrative and operational changes. Statistics Canada’s 2014 RAIS release did not include any trend analysis.
  6. Information Technology Support Associate and Early Childhood Educator are trades only designated in Ontario.
  7. In November 2015, the CCDA approved the merging of the Mobile Crane Operator and the Mobile Crane Operator (Hydraulic) trades into one single Red Seal trade. As a result, effective June 1, 2016, there are 56 designated Red Seal trades.
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