Strengthening the Red Seal program – through stakeholder involvement
Friday, June 4th, 2010

Ascentum is excited to be working with the Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship (CCDA) to develop a plan to strengthen and improve their signature “Red Seal” program, a system of common standards for the skilled trades in Canada. For 50 years, Canada’s provinces and territories have worked together to build the Red Seal Program, an endorsement that signals excellence to employers, instils pride in skilled workers, and promotes geographic labour mobility. As the Canadian economy continues to grow, develop, and change, so too are our labour, skills and training needs.

The CCDA is considering the adaptation of a trades certification model that can meet numerous objectives: providing industry with a clearer picture of the individual worker’s competency, removing barriers to certification for many workers, and contributing to the productivity and competitiveness of Canada’s economy.

In collaboration with CCDA, Ascentum has designed, is facilitating and reporting on a series of cross-Canada stakeholder dialogues with government agencies, industry bodies and experienced trainers to discuss the benefits and challenges related to strengthening the Red Seal Program.

The end of our dialogue schedule is approaching, with seven of the eleven dialogues now complete. Members of our team have travelled with CCDA representatives to Halifax, Charlottetown, St. John’s, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Montréal and Fredericton. The next week will be spent pouring over the data we have collected thus far, and preparing for our final four dialogues in Saskatoon, Edmonton, Yellowknife and Vancouver. I’m particularly excited about the dialogues in the latter two cities, at which I’ll be carefully listening to and taking notes on the unique perspectives of those from northern Canada and the West Coast.

After the production of a final report in early summer, we will be moving on to the second phase of the project, an innovative online consultation that will build on the in-person dialogues and take the conversation to a broader group of stakeholders across the country.

For more information on the “Strengthening the Red Seal Program” project, including updates on the online consultations planned for Autumn 2010, visit 

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