Training: A priority for the industry

Training: A priority for the industry

Since 1987, the training system has been modernized. Each trade has its own study program composed of between 600 and 1,800 hours of training (from 20 to 60 weeks).

To assess the need for graduates in each trade and occupation in the construction industry, the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ) undertakes a broad-based consultation with some 240 employer and union representatives sitting on 25 vocational subcommittees grouped under its aegis. In 2017, this exercise led the industry to estimate that it would need almost 5,000 workers with a diploma annually from 2018 to 2021. Training capacity is sufficient to satisfy the demand, although promotional efforts will have to be increased in some trades.

In addition, to make up for the current lack of graduates and maintain the quality of the workforce, all candidates who entered the industry due to the state of the labour pools or through recognition of their experience must take training.

Training pays off!

Whether or not they hold a diploma of vocational studies (DEP), apprentices must complete the number of hours set out for apprenticeship in their trade before they can become a journeyperson. Apprenticeships are divided into periods of 2,000 hours each. The number of apprenticeship periods varies between one and five, depending on the complexity of the trade and the diversity of skills to acquire. Apprentices are eligible to take the provincial qualification exam, which leads to obtaining a journeyman competency certificate for the desired trade, once they have completed 85% of their apprenticeship.

Training 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:

Graduates of a study program recognized for the practice of a trade: When a study program recognized in the industry has been completed, the hours devoted to obtaining the diploma are multiplied by 50% and then subtracted from the total apprenticeship hours in a trade.

For example, the trade of bricklayer-mason involves a DEP evaluated at 900 hours. The trade is composed of three apprenticeship periods totalling 6,000 hours. Therefore, 1,350 hours of training are recognized out of the 6,000 hours to be completed for the apprenticeship.

To access their qualification examination, apprentices must have completed at least 85% of the hours required for the trade. 

Training obligation: Individuals who access the construction industry due to the state of the labour pool or through recognition of their experience  will be subjected to an annual training obligation in order to renew their apprentice competency certificate.


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