Is Certification Worth the Effort?
The Red Seal Interprovincial Standards Program provides oversees certification across Canada for a variety of trades including Cooks, Carpenters, Concrete Finishers and more. The program sets common standards for each trade and allows apprentices to prove their skills through the Red Seal examination. Those who successfully pass the exam receive a provincial or territorial trade certificate which indicates that the successful candidate has demonstrated the knowledge required for the specific trade.
While the process might be frustrating and time consuming, it is definitely a good option for apprentices or international workers with prior experience in the trade sector. Whether you are already working as a tradesperson, or you are planning to work as one in Canada, Red Seal certification can take your career to a new level.
“ A resume with Red Seal stands out”
It might be daunting for an employer to hire a tradesperson with only international experience. Red Seal endorsement adds value to your resume. This is especially true for immigrants with years of experience in a specific trade. While most skills required for your trade might be similar worldwide, some skills and standards might differ from one county to another due to codes, standards and working methods. Therefore, obtaining a Red Seal certification backs up your experience with assurance that your knowledge corresponds with Canadian national standards.
When a Red Seal certification is included in a resume, it’s an indication that the individual has been trained to meet the strict standards of that trade. While this type of certification is used as a protection tool for employers looking to hire tradespeople, it also holds great benefits to employees themselves by increasing their chances to get hired by Canadian employers.
“As an international tradesperson, your experience and skills are assessed to ensure it matches the Red Seal requirements. A successful candidate is then invited to write the examination. A combination of extensive practical skills (your experience abroad) and theoretical training (our Canadian Journeyman Preparation Program) ensures that you are invited to write the exam.”
“Work across the country”
If you are planning to immigrate or work in Canada, having the Red Seal certification means that you are not constrained to one region. Beside being used as a proof that you have the right skills for the job, the Red Seal program has been designed to give tradespeople more freedom if they desire to change their work location. Being interprovincial, the program is recognized in all provinces and territories. Furthermore, although not officially recognized, Red Seal is respected and acknowledged as a proof of a high competency level in a certain trade in countries like the United States and Australia.
“In Demand – More Employment Choices”
Probably, a new immigrant’s biggest nightmare is securing a job in Canada. With more and more employers listing Red Seal as an asset in their job advertisements, the certification is considered a smart move for someone trying to build a steady career in trades.
A quick search on WOW Jobs demonstrates how the Red Seal Certification is considered an asset beside education or experience. The table below shows some Red Seal recruiting jobs:
According to the 2019 National Labour Market Information Report prepared by the Canadian apprenticeship forum, some provinces expect a massive increase in the demand for certified Red Seal trades within the next five years for many reasons, such as:
- Population growth due to steady immigration
- Manufacture, infrastructure, and energy sector investments
- A growth in replacement rate caused by death or retirement
The report projects an increase in the number of Red Seal certifications between 2019 and 2023. Ontario is in the lead followed by British Columbia (24,280 and 13,964 respectively). An increase in demand leads to higher wages, and a better chance for you to secure a promising career.
“Better salary and benefits packages”
In Canada, when you invest in yourself, you get rewarded with better salaries and benefit packages. A Red Seal certification makes you a desired candidate not only for private employers, but also for different governmental departments. Working with large companies means having lots of perks, like different insurance options, RRSP matching and more as employers recognize the importance of having knowledgeable, certified staff on board. You might also be introduced to many professional development opportunities which make career path clearer and more rewarding. If you are looking for stability, security, and benefits, working for a large company that requires Red Seal certification might be a better option for you than a small company that doesn’t.
In conclusion, it is a personal choice whether you want to enhance your trade career with a certification or not. However, if you are passionate about your trade job, and you believe that this is what you want to do until you retire, investing in a Red Seal certification might be a life changing decision that you will never regret making.