Mobility, earnings, and pathway indicators for journeypersons in Canada, 2017
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Regional demand for skilled workers over the past decade has led some newly certified journeypersons to move to other provinces to seek work. In 2017, 7.1% of journeypersons had moved to another province to live and work or were working in a province other than their province of residence, one year after certification. This interprovincial mobility is most pronounced in Western Canada, especially in such well-paying trades as heave duty equipment technicians, steamfitters-pipefitters and industrial mechanics.
Interprovincial mobility plays an important role in the career paths of some newly certified journeypersons
There were 36,000 apprentices who completed their training and became newly certified journeypersons in Canada in 2016. In 2017, one year after certification, 3.7% or 1,330 of these journeypersons moved to another province. This population is referred to as the "migrant population of journeypersons." The interprovincial migration rate of newly certified journeypersons, calculated annually, has changed little since 2009, the first year for which data are available.
In addition to the migrant population, newly certified journeypersons who work in one province or territory, while continuing to reside in another province or territory one year after certification, are collectively referred to as the "shadow population of journeypersons." In 2017, this population accounted for an additional 1,240 or 3.4% of journeypersons who certified the year prior.
Compared with the migrant population of journeypersons, the interprovincial mobility rate of the shadow population has seen greater fluctuations over time, rising from 3.3% in 2009 to 5.3% in 2014 and then falling back to 3.4% in 2017. These fluctuations coincided with the 2008/2009 financial crisis and falling crude oil prices from 2014 to 2016.
Interprovincial mobility rates rose in Alberta from 2009 to 2014
Payroll employment growth in Alberta and Saskatchewan outpaced Canada as a whole when comparing 2009 to 2014, especially in the construction, and the mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction sectors, according to the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours.
The economic conditions in Alberta from 2009 to 2014 made it a hub of interprovincial mobility among newly certified journeypersons. From 2009 to 2014, the number of journeypersons living in Alberta, after being certified elsewhere, increased by 70% (from 300 to 510), making it the most common destination for migrant journeypersons in 2014, followed by British Columbia (270) and Saskatchewan (160).
Additionally, almost two-thirds (62%) of Canada's shadow population of journeypersons was employed in Alberta in 2014. From 2009 to 2014, the number of journeypersons employed in Alberta while living in another province almost tripled, from 460 to 1240. Most of this shadow population resided in British Columbia, Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick.
Saskatchewan received the second-highest share (16%) of Canada's shadow population of journeypersons in 2014, with the majority of these maintaining their permanent residences in Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario.
Of the 1,700 journeypersons who received their certifications in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia or New Brunswick in 2013, just over one-quarter (26%) of these, or 450 journeypersons, were employed in other provinces in 2014. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of these, or 330 journeypersons, were employed in Alberta.
British Columbia attracted increasing numbers of newly certified journeypersons from 2014 to 2017
Following the fall in oil prices in mid-2014, employment declined in Alberta and Saskatchewan, while British Columbia experienced strong growth, including its construction industry, over the period from 2014 to 2017.
British Columbia attracted increasing numbers of journeypersons throughout the 2014-to-2017 period. The number of migrant journeypersons moving to British Columbia increased by 66% (+180) from 2014 to 2017, while the shadow population increased by 70% (+105) over this same period. Journeypersons from Alberta accounted for most of these increases.
In the wake of the economic slowdown in Alberta and Saskatchewan, the number of migrant journeypersons who left Alberta after certification increased by 75% (+335) from 2014 to 2017, while the shadow population of journeypersons decreased by 64% (-800). Similarly, the number of journeypersons who left Saskatchewan after certification increased by 50% over this same period.
Steamfitters-pipefitters and welders were most likely to move following certification
The Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program allows journeypersons to have their skills recognized across the country.
Among all journeypersons certified in 2016 in one of the top 10 Red Seal trades, steamfitters-pipefitters (12.8%), welders (8.4%) and heavy duty equipment technicians (7.0%) were the most likely to migrate in 2017. In contrast, relatively few automotive service technicians (2.4%) and hairstylists (2.3%) resided outside their province of certification.
Journeypersons in trades not designated as Red Seal (1.4%) had the lowest interprovincial migration rates.
Some journeypersons earn more than undergraduates, five years after certification/graduation
New data are also available on the 2017 income of journeypersons who were certified in 2012 and have been in the workforce for five years. These labour market outcomes provide insights into the early careers of journeypersons compared with undergraduates from Canada's public colleges and universities.
Among the top 10 Red Seal trades, heavy duty equipment technicians ($99,300), steamfitters-pipefitters ($99,100), industrial mechanics (millwrights) ($92,800) and construction electricians ($76,700) had the highest median incomes. In fact, these journeypersons had higher median incomes five years after certification than those with degrees in architecture, engineering and related technologies ($73,700)—the undergraduate degrees with the highest median incomes.
Journeypersons typically complete their apprenticeships at an older age than those who complete university studies. Additionally, they have often completed more years of relevant work experience, as apprenticeships in Canada are primarily work-based training programs, which may be related to the higher incomes.
Certification and discontinuation rates vary by apprenticeship program
Of the 38,700 new apprentices who registered in one of the top 10 Red Seal trades in 2011, 4 in 10 (42%) were certified by 2017. This means that certification took place within six years of registration for a four-year apprenticeship program. Industrial mechanics (millwrights) (50.3%) and construction electricians (49.9%) had the highest certification rates, while cooks (32.1%) and carpenters (31.4%) had the lowest.
The tendency for apprentices to discontinue their programs within this period also varied by trade. Cooks (51.4%) and carpenters (50.1%) had the highest discontinuation rates, while hairstylists (14.5%) and construction electricians (30.8%) had the lowest.
There are many factors influencing certification and discontinuation rates among apprentices. For cooks and carpenters in particular, certification is not required to work unsupervised in these trades. This suggests that apprentices may continue to be employed in these professions without completing their apprenticeship training.
Proportion of registered apprentices who certify, continue or discontinue within 1.5 times program duration, 2011 cohort
Note to readers
This release includes data from the Education and Labour Market Longitudinal Platform, from 2008 to 2017. The methodology used to calculate the pathways, earnings, and interprovincial mobility indicators is available online as a part of the Technical Reference Guides for the Education and Labour Market Longitudinal Platform (). 37200001
Data, definitions and concepts
Pathways and earnings indicators were derived from the 14 Red Seal trades with the largest number of registrations in Canada, along with five non-Red Seal trades. Four of the five non-Red Seal trades, child and youth worker, developmental services worker, early childhood educator and educational assistant are only considered designated trades with apprenticeship programs in Ontario.
For more information on the concepts and the methodology used in this study, consult "Pathways and earnings indicators for registered apprentices in Canada, 2008 to 2017" and "Interprovincial and territorial mobility indicators of newly certified journeypersons, 2008 to 2017." Both of these issues are part of the publication Technical Reference Guides for the Education and Labour Market Longitudinal Platform () and the Registered Apprenticeship Information System Guide. 37200001
Certification: The requirements for granting a certificate varies by jurisdiction in Canada. In most instances, an apprentice is issued a certificate if he or she completes such requirements as supervised on-the-job training, technical training as well as passing one or more examinations. Most trade qualifiers, meanwhile, become certified once they pass an examination.
Designated trades: Provincial and territorial jurisdictions determine the trades for which apprenticeship training is made available. These are referred to as designated trades. The jurisdictions also determine which of the designated trades require certification in order to work unsupervised in the trade. The list of designated trades varies considerably between the jurisdictions. Data from the Registered Apprenticeship Information System includes only those trades that are designated in at least one province or territory.
Discontinuation: The proportion of apprentices who discontinued a given apprenticeship program after their registration date.
Registered apprentices: Persons who are in a supervised work training program in a designated trade in their province or territory. The apprentice must be registered with the appropriate governing body (usually a ministry of education or labour, or a trade specific industry governing body) to complete the training. Some apprentices could be registered to more than one apprenticeship program at the same time.
Red Seal and non-Red Seal Programs: The Red Seal Program sets common standards to assess the skills of tradespersons across Canada in trades, referred to as the "Red Seal" trades. Tradespersons who meet the Red Seal standards, through examination, receive a Red Seal endorsement on their provincial/territorial trade certificates. Non-Red Seal trades, meanwhile, do not have interprovincial standards. Many non-Red Seal trades do not have an examination requirement to work in the trade.
Total registrations: Total number of registrations who were carried forward from the previous year, new registrations and reinstatements.
New registrations: New entrants to any apprenticeship program during the calendar year.
Employment income: Employment income includes employment earnings (wages and salaries, commissions from employment, training allowances, tips and gratuities, tax exempted Indian employment income) and net self-employment income (net income from business, profession, farming, fishing and commissions). It is adjusted for inflation and presented in 2016 constant dollars.
The infographic "Mobility, earnings, and pathways of journeypersons in Canada" is now available as part of the series Statistics Canada — Infographics (11-627-M).
New versions of the following technical reference guides are now available: "Pathways and earnings indicators for registered apprentices in Canada, 2008 to 2017" and "Interprovincial and territorial mobility indicators of newly certified journeypersons, 2008 to 2017." Both of these guides are part of the Technical Reference Guides for the Education and Labour Market Longitudinal Platform (37200001).
For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; STATCAN.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.STATCAN@canada.ca).