Association                                            December, 2006


Masonry Apprenticeship Update


Many of you will have heard that there are major changes taking place in masonry training in B.C., and are concerned about where you stand in the new system. This update will summarize the changes that are taking place to improve our apprenticeship program:


Masonry Industry Training Association:

A new Masonry Industry Training Association (MITA) was formed last summer to guide and oversee apprenticeship training in B.C. for apprentices working for both union and open-shop contractors. This association is supported by the Canadian Masonry Contractors Association – BC Chapter; the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers - Local #2 B.C.; and the Masonry Contractors Association of B.C.


Masonry Training Review:

The content and structuring of masonry training was reviewed between May and October by a team of hard-working Subject Matter Experts who are qualified bricklayers. This total review was funded by the governments Industry Training Authority (ITA), and resulted in an up-to-date program that will better meet the needs of apprentices and masonry contractors. The MITA board of directors approved their work that has led to the following changes:


1.           The school component of training has been shortened from 4 to 3 levels. This more concentrated technical program will have the same total hours as before, but course levels that are 5 weeks long, with full 8-hour days. This will be a more efficient use of time-away-from-work for apprentices. The required field time of 5,000 hours is unchanged.

2.           Apprenticeship training will now be provided at the new Trowel Trades Training Centre (TTTA), now in operation at 12309 Industrial Rd. in north Surrey near the Pattullo Bridge. The ELTT high school program will remain at Kwantlen. 

3.           There will be practical, as well as written exams at the end of each level. The final qualification will be the Red Seal Interprovincial Exam.

4.           The course content has been totally revised and reorganized to suit today’s industry. Three sets of written exam bank questions and practical exams have been developed based on the new course outline.

5.           Flexible delivery options such as evening and weekend programs will be considered.

Course Structure


The shift from 4 levels to 3 levels has resulted in changes during the transition period. The chart below shows how apprentices will move through the new system.


Old level 1

Old level 2

Old level 3

Old level 4



New level 1

New level 2

New level 3




Due to changes in the course content and number of levels, there will be differences in curriculum between the old and new levels. Under the new format, apprentices who have finished the old levels 2 and 3 can complete in four terms as before. Apprentices from the old level 1, and those entering the new level 1, can complete in 3 terms. The combination of 3 technical training levels and 5,000 hours of field work could still take 4 years to complete. There will be a high demand for level 2 courses under this new structure.


Schedule & Registration:


The planned schedule for the new levels for the fall through spring period is:

Nov. 14 to Dec. 15           Level 2 - for those coming from the old level 1

Jan. 8 to Feb. 9                Level 2 - for those coming from the old level 2

Feb.19 to March 23           Level 3

April 2 to May 4                Level 1

May 14 to June 15            Level 1

Additional day and evening programs will be scheduled based on demand.

The cost per level is $250, including a $100 registration deposit.


To register for one of these courses, submit a TTTA registration form with deposit to the Trowel Trades Training Association as soon as possible.


Registrations will be accepted based on the date received.  


For further information call Sharon at the TTTA at 604-298-2021 or check the TTTA website at .  If possible, please have your registration and/or apprentice numbers ready when you call.