At the request of industry, the Harmonization Initiative* was launched in 2013 to substantively align apprenticeship systems across Canada by making training requirements more consistent in the Red Seal trades. Harmonization aims to improve the mobility of apprentices, support an increase in their completion rates and enable employers to access a larger pool of apprentices.
As part of this work, the Canadian Council of the Directors of Apprenticeship (CCDA) identified four main harmonization priorities in consultation with industry and training stakeholders:
- Use of Red Seal trade name
- Consistent total training hours (in-school and on-the-job)
- Same number of training levels
- Consistent sequencing of training content (at each training level) using the most recent Red Seal Occupational Standards*
*Industry supports the sequencing of in-school technical training levels as the main priority.
Which trades are being harmonized?
All Red Seal trades will be harmonized.
The CCDA has divided the work into phases, starting with Red Seal trades that have a high volume of apprentices registered in training to maximize benefits. The trades, divided by phases and target dates, are listed below.
Phase 1 – target for implementation of harmonized training in most jurisdictions was September 2016:
- Metal Fabricator (Fitter)
- Ironworker (Generalist)
- Ironworker (Structural/Ornamental)
- Ironworker (Reinforcing)
- Mobile Crane Operator
- Mobile Crane Operator (Hydraulic) – this trade was merged with the Mobile Crane Operator trade at industry’s request
- Tower Crane Operator
Phase 2 – target for implementation of harmonized training in most jurisdictions is September 2017:
- Heavy Duty Equipment Technician
- Automotive Service Technician
- Truck and Transport Mechanic
- Agricultural Equipment Technician
- Construction Electrician
- Industrial Electrician
- Industrial Mechanic (Millwright)
Phase 3 – target for implementation of harmonized training in most jurisdictions is September 2018:
- Sprinkler Fitter
- Concrete Finisher
- Landscape Horticulturist
- Sheet Metal Worker
Phase 4 – target for implementation of harmonized training in most jurisdictions is September 2019:
- Rig Technician
- Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic
- Insulator (Heat and Frost)
- Tool and Die Maker
Phase 5 – target for implementation of harmonized training in most jurisdictions is September 2020:
- Powerline Technician
- Motor Vehicle Body Repairer (Metal and Paint)
- Automotive Painter
By 2020, the CCDA will have harmonized over 30 Red Seal trades in most jurisdictions (outside of Québec), representing over 90% of Red Seal apprentices.
But the work does not stop there. The CCDA has integrated harmonization into its regular business, to be carried out alongside the development of Red Seal Occupational Standards (RSOS) for the remaining trades. This means that all Red Seal trades will undergo harmonization.
Additional trades being harmonized for the first time or having their harmonized elements reviewed and revised are:
- Instrumentation and Control Technician
- Motorcycle Technician
- Parts Technician
- Lather (Interior Systems Mechanic)
- Recreation Vehicle Service Technician
- Mobile Crane Operator (Review)
- Construction Electrician (Review)
- Industrial Electrician (Review)
- Metal Fabricator (Fitter) (Review)
- Carpenter (Review)
More trades will be announced as the RSOS schedule is developed.
How can I get involved?
A consensus-based approach is used to reach agreement on decisions related to harmonization based on consultations with industry and training representatives.
The process to harmonize a trade requires the engagement of industry experts from jurisdictions across Canada who participate in pan-Canadian consultations to discuss their requirements, explain their apprenticeship systems, and better understand the differences in training between jurisdictions. The process ensures a high quality of training is maintained.
Consultations are coordinated by provincial/territorial apprenticeship authorities.
You can express your interest to take part in harmonization consultations by contacting your apprenticeship authority at http://www.red-seal.ca/contact/c.4nt.1ct-eng.html.
Stay tuned for up-to-date information on harmonization by registering for the Red Seal e-blasts.
* Québec is an observer on this initiative.
* 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.
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