Northeastern British Columbia

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2015 Apprenticeship Student Outcomes Survey

The former traditional apprentices and those from progressive credential programs who were surveyed in 2015 were satisfied with their in-school training, and their programs were helpful in the development of key skills.

Relative to the average labour force participation and employment rates for a similarly aged BC population, the employment outcomes for former traditional apprentices were exceptional. At the time of the survey, almost all of the former traditional apprentices were in the labour force. Their unemployment rate varied by region, but was 6.2 percent overall.

Almost 9 out of 10 former traditional apprentices had a job in their trade to go back to right after their training, and a majority of these were still working for the same employer at the time of the survey. For traditional apprenticeship respondents who were working at the time of the survey, their employment conditions were good — almost all were employed full-time and most had a single, permanent, training-related job, earning a median hourly income of $31.

The labour force participation rate among former progressive credential apprentices was high, although somewhat lower than that of traditional apprentices, and their employment rate compared favourably with the rate of the BC population for the period. Employed former progressive credential apprentices also had jobs with favourable conditions — they tended to be salaried employees working in a single, full-time, permanent position.

BC Stats Infoline

Province Invests $400,000 to Train Roofers

The British Columbia government has announced an investment of $401,000 for the Roofing Contractors Association of BC (RCABC) that will go towards skills training in high-priority trades seats.

The investment, through the Industry Training Authority (ITA), will fund 320 seats in the roofer, architectural sheet metal and residential steep roofer programs through to March 31, 2017.

The funding is part of the ITA's allocation to BC post-secondary institutions and training providers to run various training programs throughout the province.

In response to the objectives outlined in BC's Skills for Jobs Blueprint and the McDonald Report, the BC government has worked in partnership with the ITA to begin building a demand-driven trades training system with funding aligned to specific indemand trades.

The provincial government invests more than $94 million annually in industry training through the ITA. The ITA leads and co-ordinates British Columbia's skilled trades system by working with employers, employees, industry, labour, training providers and government to issue credentials, manage apprenticeships, set program standards and increase opportunities in the trades.

Journal of Commerce

Study: Overqualification, Skills & Job Satisfaction, 2012

In 2012, about one in eight workers aged 25 to 64 with a university degree were identified as overqualified for their job because they reported that their job required no more than a high school education.

Overqualified individuals with a university degree, however, were more likely to have lower levels of literacy and numeracy than other university graduates.

These results are from the new study "Overqualification, skills and job satisfaction," which focuses on the literacy and numeracy levels of overqualified university graduates (individuals with at least a bachelor degree).

The study is based on data from the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), which assessed people's level of proficiency in skills related to literacy, numeracy, and problem solving in technology-rich environments.

In this study, individuals with lower skills are those who have a score corresponding to a level 2 or below (out of 5 possible levels) in PIAAC tests. The results in this release are based on literacy scores, but similar results were found with numeracy scores.

Overqualified university graduates have lower skill levels

In 2012, 12% of workers aged 25 to 64 who had a university degree reported that they were in a job requiring no more than a high school education (namely, they were overqualified). Another 19% said that their job required a college education, and 69% said that their job required a university education.

Among overqualified university graduates, 47% had lower levels of literacy. This compared with 18% of university graduates who reported that their job required a university education.

Lower levels of literacy indicate that individuals may be less able to integrate information across multiple sources, and may be only able to undertake tasks of limited complexity.

The factors associated with overqualification vary by skill level

The factors associated with overqualification varied depending on the skill level of university graduates. Within the lower-skilled population, some factors were particularly more likely to be associated with overqualification.

For example, lower-skilled graduates who had a university degree in social science, business and law had a 24% probability of being overqualified, even after taking other factors into account.

Among those who had a degree in the same field, but who had higher literacy skills, the probability of overqualification fell to 7%.

As well, among individuals whose mother tongue was neither French nor English, those with lower literacy skills had a 25% probability of being overqualified. This compared with 10% among their higher-skilled counterparts.

Overqualified workers use fewer skills in the workplace

Overqualified individuals use fewer skills in the workplace than their counterparts who are in jobs requiring higher levels of education.

For instance, in the PIAAC, respondents were asked to indicate whether they perform a number of information and communication activities (ICT) as part of their current job, such as working with a spreadsheet software or programming.

On average, overqualified workers performed 25% of ICT activities listed in PIAAC on a weekly basis. This compared with 55% among those who reported that their job required a university education.

Overqualified workers were also less likely to perform other types of activities in the workplace, including activities involving numeracy, literacy and "generic" skills (such as instructing people, giving presentations, or persuading others).

Overqualification is related to lower job satisfaction

Overqualified university graduates were also less likely to report that they were satisfied with their jobs, even after taking into account other factors associated with job satisfaction.

For example, overqualified individuals with a university degree had a 13% probability of reporting that they were not satisfied with their job.

Among university-educated workers who reported that their job required a university education, that probability fell to 3%.