Training: A priority for the industry

Each trade has a study program that includes between 600 and 1,800 hours of training (from 20 to 60 weeks).

To assess the need for graduates in each construction trade, the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ) undertakes a broad-based consultation with some 250 employer and union representatives sitting on 27 vocational subcommittees and 10 regional subcommittees grouped under its aegis. In 2014, this exercise led the industry to estimate that it would need almost 8,000 graduates workers annually from 2015 to 2018. Training capacity is sufficient to satisfy the demand, although promotional efforts should be increased in some trades.

To make up for the current lack of graduates and maintain the quality of the workforce, all non-graduate apprentices admitted during a labour shortage must meet a training.

Training pays off!

Whether or not they hold a diploma of vocational studies, apprentices must complete the apprenticeship plan for their trade before they can become a journeyman. The apprenticeship plan is divided into 2,000-hour periods; the number of periods per trade varies between one and five, depending on the complexity of the trade and the diversity of skills to acquire. Once the apprenticeship is completed, apprentices are eligible to take the provincial qualification exam, which they must pass to obtain a journeyman competency certificate for the desired trade.

Apprenticeship hour credits may be entered in the apprentice’s file in order to accelerate the accumulation of apprenticeship hours (a maximum limit of hours has been established for each trade, however). Both holders of a vocational studies diploma (graduate apprentices) and non-graduate apprentices may take advantage of this measure. Here is an overview:

Holders of a recognized DEP for the practice of a trade: They may subtract all of the hours devoted to obtaining their DEP from the hours set out in the apprenticeship plan. For example, for the trade of bricklayer-mason, the duration of training leading to the DEP is evaluated at 900 hours. The trade is composed of three apprenticeship periods totalling 6,000 hours. Therefore, the apprentice will have to complete only 5,100 hours before being eligible to take the provincial qualification exam.

6,000 hours set out in the apprenticeship plan – 900 hours completed to obtain the DEP = 5,100 hours

Non-graduate apprentice: Apprentices admitted into the industry due to a labour shortage will have a training obligation. Having accessed the construction industry without passing the recognized study program for their trade, non-graduate apprentices will have to take obligatory training on an annual basis to make sure that their competency certificate is renewed. This obligation will last until they have completed all of the apprenticeship periods for their trade or obtained the recognized diploma for their trade.