SK: Time for a gas fitters course in Saskatchewan
For some time now, Saskatchewan member companies wishing to have their employees trained as gas fitters must send their apprentices to the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) in Calgary or the British Columbia Institute of Technology in Vancouver. While both Alberta and British Columbia offer recognized courses, and Manitoba offers a Red Seal gas fitter course for both A and B gas fitters at Red River College, no such course is offered directly in Saskatchewan.
Currently, gas fitting as a trade is not recognized in Saskatchewan, however the Saskatchewan Apprentice and Trade Certification Commission will test and license gas fitters, most of whom are trained elsewhere. When the CPA inquired about the availability of appropriate courses in the province, the Saskatchewan government proposed a pipefitter course offered at Saskatchewan Polytechnic. Unfortunately, as CPA members know, this course is insufficient for the needs of the propane industry.
The CPA recognizes the importance of an appropriate gas fitters course to be offered in Saskatchewan as it is having immediate impact on staffing and costs for member-companies. With SAIT no longer accepting out-of-province students for this program, the need for this type of program to be offered in Saskatchewan is increasingly pressing.
The CPA met with the Saskatchewan Apprentice and Trade Certification Commission and the office of the Minister of Immigration and Careers Training to bring this issue to their attention. The CPA will continue to discuss this issue with the Saskatchewan government and will also conduct an education gap analysis to determine how the CPA’s Propane Training Institute can be part of the solution.