Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

October 26, 2009 12:00 ET

Government of Canada Helps Workers in BC's Piping Industry Improve Their Literacy and Essential Skills

DELTA, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Oct. 26, 2009) - Workers in British Columbia's piping industry who face barriers to career opportunities will benefit from a federally funded project aimed at improving literacy and essential skills in the workplace. Mr. John Cummins, Member of Parliament for Delta-Richmond East, made the announcement today on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

"Our government works with partners across Canada to ensure literacy and essential skills are integrated into training that will help Canadians get jobs and build better futures for themselves and their families," said Mr. Cummins. "This project will help foster a highly skilled workforce through a long-lasting, sustainable system of workplace learning that will benefit all the employees of the piping industry who need these essential skills."

The Piping Industry Apprenticeship Board (PIAB) will receive $545,375 for its Literacy and Essential Skills Project to help plumbing, sprinklerfitting, steamfitting and welding apprentices. Through this project, the Board intends to create a culture of workplace learning within the industry, which will facilitate the entry of pre-apprentices and increase the success of apprentices in certification programs.

"The PIAB takes great pride in all its endeavors to contribute to a highly effective, competitive and efficient workforce through apprenticeship training," said Mr. A.D. Al Phillips, Executive Director of the Board. "We believe this project will help us establish a system that will be recognized across Canada as the leading edge in future apprenticeship training. It will give apprentices skills such as time management, organization and working with others as key elements in the retention of information to create a more profitable workforce."

Literacy and essential skills are key in ensuring that Canadians can fully participate and succeed in the workforce. The Government of Canada's Office of Literacy and Essential Skills works with provincial and territorial governments, businesses and voluntary organizations to provide Canadians with the tools and supports they need to maximize opportunities for themselves, their families and their futures.

Improving the literacy and essential skills of Canadians is an important part of the Government of Canada's commitment to building a highly skilled, adaptable and competitive workforce. The Government underscored this commitment in January when it introduced Canada's Economic Action Plan, which contains measures to stimulate the economy, create jobs and protect Canadians during the global recession.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.


The purpose of the Piping Industry Apprenticeship Board's Literacy and Essential Skills Project is to develop a highly skilled workforce through a long-lasting, sustainable system of workplace learning that will benefit apprentices, journeypersons, supervisors and employers in the piping industry. Currently, upgraded essential skills, such as numeracy, working with others and document use, are required at all levels of the piping industry. Employees need these essential skills to help them attain career success and communicate concepts more effectively to coworkers.

This project will integrate best practices, as applied to a focused trades program that consists of pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeship, journeyperson and supervisor training. This approach will implement a culture of workplace learning and advancement within the piping industry by placing value on the discernable essential skills needs at each stage of employability. The project is a British Columbia-wide initiative and will be the basis for an essential skills training program that has the potential to be expanded nationally.

To ensure broad dissemination of its work, the project's Web site, results and deliverables will be shared with the National Adult Literacy Database. The project's results will also be shared with:

1. The Government of British Columbia

2. Literacy BC

3. The British Columbia Federation of Labour

4. The Construction Sector Council

5. The Mechanical Contractors Association of British Columbia

6. The United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States and Canada, Local 170

7. The United Association's National Office

8. The Industry Training Authority

9. The Faculty of Trades and Technology of the University of the Fraser Valley

The Government of Canada created the Office of Literacy and Essential Skills with a mission to become an acknowledged centre of expertise on what works in increasing the literacy and essential skills of adult Canadians. The Office's activities focus on improving the literacy and essential skills of adults for participation in the workplace, the community and family life.

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Finley
    Michelle Bakos
    Press Secretary
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office