Yukon government needs to employ more than four apprentices: Yukon NDP

The Yukon NDP Official Opposition is calling on the Yukon Party government, as the territory’s largest employer, to pull its weight by hiring its fair share of apprentice tradespeople. Yukon NDP MLA Kate White, the only journeyperson currently elected to the Yukon Legislative Assembly, is taking the government to task over the news that the Yukon government only employs four out of a pool of 483 registered Yukon apprentices.

This afternoon in the Yukon legislature, White asked the government about their lack of public sector apprentices and tabled a motion expressing a commitment to job creation and the transfer of knowledge from veteran tradespeople to apprentice workers.

“The single largest employer in the territory employs less than one per cent of Yukon’s apprentices,” said White today during Question Period. “Let that sink in for a second. Why does the government – Yukon’s largest employer – only employ four apprentices?”

Apprentices play an important role in workplaces that require skilled tradespeople. Veteran workers take important knowledge with them when they retire. For apprentices, these more advanced tradespeople serve as mentors who provide both hands-on skills that can’t be learned in a classroom as well as the institutional knowledge about installations and projects that the next generation of workers use to work on those same job sites.

Without apprentices to absorb that information, the government is creating unnecessary challenges for the ongoing maintenance of public infrastructure while keeping Yukoners from valuable hands-on training opportunities.

“We shouldn’t have to tell the government that four apprentices isn’t enough,” added White. “The Yukon Party government needs to prove to Yukon employers that it is setting an example and hiring apprentices into the public service to do its part in training young tradespeople.”

“How can the government seriously ask private sector employers to be the only ones to hire apprentices when they just won’t lead by example?”

 

Photo: pintoys / flickr. Used under a CC BY-SA 2.0 licence.