Since 2005, the BC Ministry of Advanced Education and BCStats have been conducting a province-wide annual survey of former apprenticeship students in British Columbia along with graduates of other post-secondary programs, which are delivered through 19 BC public post-secondary institutions or private training organizations. Graduates of these programs provide important feedback about their training, the usefulness of the knowledge and skills they gained, and their post-training employment.
This report presents the latest results from the apprenticeship survey, including the demographic composition of apprentice graduates, their views on their in-school and workplace training, and their employment outcomes. This information is also available in graphical form for the most recent three years of the survey (2014 to 2016) via the Dashboard tool.
Selected highlights for the 2,565 respondents to the 2016 apprenticeship survey (provided in the Dashboard but not at the main Student Outcomes publications link) are reported below. Overall, the results indicate that graduates were happy with the quality and relevance of their apprenticeship training and that it paid off for them in terms of leading to good jobs.
- Profile: respondents had a median age of 29, they were predominantly male (94%), about half of them had previously attended a post-secondary institution, and most (88%) received their Certificate of Education at the end of their training.
- Content: large majorities of respondents reported learning workplace literacy skills, specifically, writing clearly and speaking effectively (73%); working with others and resolving issues (88-89%); using math and tools and equipment (88-90%); and thinking critically and reading and comprehending (91-92%).
- Views: large majorities of respondents reported that: the skills and knowledge gained in their programs were very or somewhat useful in performing their job (93%); the in-school training was very or somewhat related to their workplace experience (88%); they were very satisfied or satisfied with the overall workplace training experience (91%) and with the education they received (93%); and they would rate various aspects of the program as very good or good, e.g., quality of instruction (85%), organization of program (75%), and relevance of topics (74%), with the quality of the instruction rated first by 96% of respondents.
- Outcomes: at the time of survey, almost all apprenticeship program graduates were in the labour force (98%) and employed (89%); of those employed, almost all were in full-time jobs (98%) and/or in paid (as opposed to self-employed) jobs (94%), and, on average, they were working 40 weekly hours and earning $30 an hour in their main job. The outcomes of the apprenticeship program candidates compare well to graduates of post-secondary diploma, associate degree and certificate programs, who were employed on average 38 hours per week at an average rate of $19 per hour.
These annual reports and accompanying dashboard tool will be useful to practitioners as well as employers interested in keeping up-to-date on the outcomes of apprenticeship training.