Check out a new digital campus tool for apprentices!

The College of the BC Building Trades website has been launched to help aspiring apprentices more easily explore trades careers and connect with opportunities. The website features online tools to assess skills and a learning portal, as well as connect directly with training schools and campuses across the province.



The College of the BC Building Trades website will soon be enhanced with some videos featuring the various trades.

Over the summer, several contractors and apprentices participated in video shoots as part of the creative content for the Sheet Metal trade. Both sheet metal and architectural sheet metal have been included.

Thank you to our participating apprentices, journeys, and contractors.

Special thanks to the immensely talented videographers from Human Biography – we are excited to share the final cut when released!



Female Mentorship: A Journey’s Opportunity to Pass the Torch

Back in the summer of 2009, Sheila Sadler, from Viaduct Sheet Metal Ltd., was featured on the cover of the Sheet Metal Journal, to “make way for women in trades”. Sheila has walked her talk, and over a decade later, she is an industry leader promoting greater representation of women in the trades.

Sheila regularly participates in career fairs and as a guest speaker at events. Sheila and other women were featured in a recent video shoot coordinated by Skill Plan & BC Building Trades – a “day in the life” of a sheet metal worker for the College of the BC Building Trades website launch.

Passing the Torch

Sheila helped to coordinate one of her female apprentices, Mukelabai “KK” Nasitwitwi to participate in the cover shoot for the TradeTalk magazine. KK is a Level 1 apprentice who recently joined the sheet metal trade and is excited to attend her first level of technical training at the Training Centre in early 2022.

Sheila, KK and other women’s participation supports our Technology and an Inclusive Workforce UTIP project, aimed at increasing representation of key groups including women, Indigenous People and newcomers to Canada.




Summer 2021 Grads

As Oscar Wilde brilliantly said, Success doesn’t rush. The greatest reward is the journey!  Well, our students in Level 4 sheet metal and Level 3 architectural sheet metal demonstrated that hard work and dedication to their craft contributed to their success in becoming ‘journeys’.

This is not a feat to be taken lightly. Learning new skills in a blend of online (theoretical) and onsite (technical) training is not something that comes easily to all students. Or instructors for that matter, who had to learn the technology to teach it! Our SMWTCS instructors are steadfast in supporting students to navigate the computer technology to ensure each student can complete their online assignments and hands on projects successfully.

The graduating students certainly stepped up to the plate with excellent results! Per Jud Martell, Training Coordinator, “they went 16 for 16 passed the IP (Level 4 – SM) and 10 for 10 passed the CofQ (Level 3 – ASM). 26 for 26!!! This set the new standard (previous was the 24 for 24 IP last summer) of 100% completion rate. Almost a perfect class with all passing the Level 3 and 4, and attendance was perfect for the ASM and only one student missed 3 days in the SM. Amazing!”




The BC government has introduced skilled trades certification. This will help improve our trades training system to meet the labour demands of a rapidly evolving economy.

BC’s skilled trades certification now aligns with other provinces across Canada. This provides a pathway to increase the skill level of BC’s trades workforce leading to greater access to the benefits of post-secondary training and certification: better jobs, higher wages and stable careers.

BC is requiring trades workers to be either a certified journeyperson or a registered apprentice in 10 trades (three electrical, four mechanical, and three automotive trades). Sheet metal is one of the identified trades. The implementation process is still being finalized and there will be a transition period to assist workers and employers to be in compliance.

The government is also introducing journeyperson to apprentice ratios for these 10 trades based on consultations with workers, employers and other industry stakeholders, led by the Industry Training Authority. The goal is to ensure there are enough skilled trade workers to meet the labour force demands in the future.

The benefits of skilled trades certification are highlighted in this YouTube video including standardizing trade skills and increasing opportunities for under-represented and equity-seeking groups.




An iPad for every Level 1 student!

Our international partner helps students learn remotely!

On July 9th, the Training Centre had 15 level 1 students complete their 1st year training. Each student was issued individual iPads to support them with their educational goals.

The iPads are part of a new program offered by the International Training Institute (iTi) to all Level 1 apprentices. The iTi program aims to have an iPad in the hands of their members (including Local 280 members) when apprentices are in the field on the Work Based part of technical training.

With the iTi turning 50 this year, it continually seeks ways to “become more high-tech, diversified and continues to evolve, offering more opportunities to members”. Access to iPads provides apprentices with the opportunity to become better acquainted with the use of technology. This is especially important as more and more of our work, school and family functions are forced online due to the pandemic. Our future is now more intertwined with technology and a more virtual world, one iPad at a time.




Pilot with CIRP

The Construction Industry Rehabilitation Plan (CIRP) is piloting a project, ‘A Kit in Every Hand’, to provide the opportunity for harm reduction training in the form of overdose prevention, to the hard-to-reach population of construction workers. Pilot project partners include the BC Building Trades (BCBT) association, Operating Engineers L. 115; Sheet Metal Workers Training Centre; Finishing Trades Institute of BC; Skillplan and the Construction Labour Relations Association (CLRA).

‘A Kit in Every Hand’ overarching goals are to:

1) Reduce the numbers of overdoses occurring among construction workers

2) Increase understanding of how to respond to an overdose

3) Increase understanding of the supports and resources available to individuals

4) Reduce the shame and stigma surrounding substance use through education, awareness and training.


Naloxone kit training has been provided to all instructors and staff at the Training Centre and will be rolled out to Local 280 members in the near future. Stay tuned for more updates.




Jim Paquette retirement

Jim Paquette, Business Manager and Financial Secretary Treasurer at Local 280, retired on June 30, 2021 after 25 years of service in elected office. Jim also worked 21 years ‘on the tools’ as sheet metal worker with various SMACNA-BC employers. Throughout his long career, the sheet metal industry changed with improved worksite safety and technological advances.

Working collaboratively with members and contractors, Jim leaves behind a legacy of a strong SMACNA-BC/Local 280 partnership, held up across the United States and Canada as a model of what a successful labourmanagement partnership could look like.

Jim left his position in the capable hands of Richard Mangelsdorf, the new Business Manager & Financial Secretary Treasurer of SMART Local 280.