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Did you know that here, in British Columbia it is not required to be licensed or certified to work as an Automotive technician? It is also the only Province that does not require businesses in this trade or in any trade to hire qualified trades persons.

You didn't know that?

This has been a thorn in my side for years and one of the motivators for me to create The Automotive Service Business Network.

The plan is to develop an unbiased network specifically designed to bring all facets of the automotive aftermarket, businesses as well as workers, (we'll call ourselves stakeholders) here in BC, together under one roof, to freely share ideas, generate discussions and to do business.

Why?

The premise is quite simple really. Our businesses and our careers are governed by so many external factors that we seem to have little to no control over and yet, the clear majority of these issues can be easily managed or solved if we have the willingness and the tools to bring about positive change for our careers, our businesses and ultimately, our valued customers.

ASBN will be that platform.

Take, for example the subject of Compulsory Certification.

Through ASBN, all businesses, technicians, apprentices and workers in every corner of this Province, could be reached. We could create a dialog on this subject and finally develop a lobbying plan to convince our Government that we must be taken seriously as industry professionals and not be considered  'unskilled labor'.

Well, about a week ago, our Automotive Retailers Association (ARA) posted a link to their article on their Facebook page.

Here's the article https://www.ara.bc.ca/ara-industry-certification/compulsory-trade-certification/

This has forced me to accelerate my network development plans and jump directly to promoting and generating memberships because we need everyone's attention on this issue and that means ASAP.

I am so excited to show off all the features and benefits of the site as well as the new additions and components I have planned for the near future, but that will have to wait. For now, I'll let you check it out for yourself and I'll highlight each section in upcoming newsletters.

What is important is that you sign up to get the newsletters and then ask your coworkers and friends, in the industry, to check it out and sign up too.

Don't worry, it's free and no, you will not be getting any 'junk' mail.

Now, on to the Pressing Issue 

We know the level of technology driving or being towed into our shops and we have a good idea of what's in store for us in the near future. Yes, there is good reason to be concerned. Not only do we have to continuously source out our own training and update our tooling, but we also have to contend with others, in this industry, who only claim they are professionals and are doing more harm than good, especially in the eyes of the general consumer. This has been feeding the negative image this industry has endured for years.

You may say that your business only hires qualified techs and apprentices and that's great. But, if that were true across our industry, there wouldn't be an issue, would there?

Now, if the general public found out that businesses are not required to hire certified technicians or that anybody with a tool box can call themselves qualified technicians, you know there would be an uproar.

How about the students and apprentices who look at the lengthy training ahead of them to achieve their Red Seal Certification only to find that it was not needed? Even worse, what if they do know? It would certainly eliminate the motivation to become certified and maybe one good reason we are experiencing a shortage qualified people throughout our industry.

This issue has to be eliminated once and for all.

Our ARA has started the ball rolling through discussions with our Government to make certification for our industry compulsory and found the Honorable Melanie Mark, minister of advanced education, highly interested in taking on this project.

But, there's a problem.

We need a much larger voice than just the business members of the ARA. We need to generate a 'grass roots' movement that spreads to all corners of this Province that includes everyone who depends on this industry for their careers.

Let's Have Our Voices Be Heard

We need to flood the in-boxes of all our Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) voicing the need to have compulsory trade certification within our industry.

Here's how to do it.

 Or, here's a detailed alternative;

  • Read the ARA article 'Compulsory Trade Certification'
  • Download Articles; At the bottom of the article are two links; compulsory trades overview and letter to your local MLA. Clicking on them will download them to your computer. They will be downloaded to your Downloads file in Documents. Open and read them.
  • Find your MLA,;  go to the navigation bar above and click on Link Library. Then scroll down to Government and then BC Government where you'll find further instructions. Or, simply, click here.
  • Start an Email; Clicking on his/her email address will bring up your default email program.
  • In the Subject line, type in Compulsory Certification.
  • Send To; On the Cc line (who you will be sending copies to), type in This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. then add a semicolon (;) and a space. Then type in This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Ken Hendricks, who is heading this endeavor) and then This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or you can copy and paste the email addresses. Don't forget the semicolon and space between them
  • Attach Files; Next, you will attach the two files you recently downloaded. In your email program you will find and click on the button 'Attach' or 'Insert' and then click on 'File'. That will bring up a window to search your files. In the 'Downloads' you will see the recent downloaded files. Click on one of them to attach it to your email. Repeat for the second file.
  • Voice your opinion; In the body of the email, type in your concerns and viewpoints about this issue and that our BC Government must make changes.
  • Don't forget to add this line at the bottom of your concerns. "I have attached two articles that are important to this issue. One of them is a letter from Adrian Scovell, President & CEO of the Automotive Retailers Association, urging a meeting with our MLA who would be taking the lead, I would assume will be the Honorable Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training".
  • Click SEND.

Now, that's how we will have our voices heard.

But, do you really want to make some noise and really make this a 'grass roots' movement?

Then, take the next steps to spread the word.

  • Pass on this article to all of your coworkers and employees
  • Copy the address link of this article and send it to everyone you know who is part of this industry. Yes, including your competitors and, if you want, to your MLA.
  • Share this article in your favorite forums and social media.

There may be some who disagree with Compulsory Certification for their own reasons and that's okay. Some of the reasons will come up and addressed once a discussion between the ARA and our MLA begins and a plan starts taking shape.

Don't forget. You must be signed up to ASBN.ca to receive newsletter updates on our progress. Register here.

Also, if you haven't yet and you are a business owner, become a member of the ARA. They need your support and our industry needs needs the strengh. Plus, there are a lot of savings to be had through their benefits packages.

This is our industry and our livelihood. Shouldn't we have a say in our future?

 

 

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