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BC Building Trades raise questions after Hydro releases December’s Site C jobs numbers

Aerial view of the stage 1 right bank cofferdam, including one of three slurry (concrete) production plants. Taken in November, 2016. Photo Credit: BC Hydro
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NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. – The BC Building Trades Council is asking some tough questions of BC Hydro after the employment statistics on the project during the month of December were released last Friday.

According to the employment statistics released by BC Hydro, only 40 apprentices are working on the Site C project out of a workforce of 1,916.

“These figures fly in the face of provincial policy which encourages contractors on publicly funded projects to employ apprentices,” said Tom Sigurdson, Executive Director of the BC Building Trades. “We know it takes a 1:4 ratio to maintain a stable supply of certified workers. BC Hydro should be compelling contractors to employ 25% apprentices in apprenticeable trades if they are truly committed to providing jobs that will build careers for British Columbians.”

BuildForce Canada’s forecast through the year 2026 anticipates the need to replace 40,000 British Columbians retiring from construction in the next ten years. Sigurdson says that the BC Building Trades has 5 hard questions for BC Hydro on their commitment to apprenticeship:

  1. What percentage of apprentices do they have working on the Site C project from apprenticeable trades?
  2. Did BC Hydro make provisions for apprentices on contracts let to current contractors?
  3. What is BC Hydro doing to increase the number of apprentices on the project?
  4. What obligations do out of BC contractors have to employ BC apprentices on the project?
  5. Will BC Hydro commit to follow the BC government’s directive to employ 25% apprentices on the Site C project?

BC Hydro has yet to release a response to the BC Building Trades’ release.

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