VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - January 05, 2016) - The Industry Training Authority (ITA) is starting the New Year with the launch of its new Hairstylist program. The program was de-regulated in 2003 and as a direct response to industry feedback, ITA has brought back a standardized apprenticeship pathway and the ability for BC Hairstylists to obtain their Red Seal Endorsement in the province. The Red Seal Endorsement, in combination with the Certificate of Qualification, is the recognized standard across Canada.

The new program comes after extensive consultation with industry leaders on current standards and practices as well as skillset expectations to ensure that the new program is sustainable and relevant to all industry stakeholders. These industry led conversations are aligned with one of BC's Skills for Jobs Blueprint goals of increasing industry engagement.

In November 2015, the first group of BC Assessors were designated to practice in BC and two groups of Red Seal Endorsement candidates participated in the new Hairstylist practical exam. It was a successful event, resulting in the first 30 Hairstylists to achieve their Red Seal Endorsement in BC since 2004.

Currently, there are over 3000 apprentices in the Hairstylist programs in BC. The challenge pathway is now open to eligible practitioners and the new apprenticeship pathway will be available in April 2016 for all interested in becoming a certified Hairstylist in BC. 

With over 12,600 Hairstylists in the province to date, the community is expected to grow by 57% by 2022. The new Hairstylist program will provide a clear pathway to certification and ensure that the industry grows with consistent high standards in place. 

"Red Seal certification is recognized by all provinces and territories in Canada, representing the highest level of achievement in skilled trades. B.C. currently provides almost 50 Red Seal trades programs through the Industry Training Authority, and now the Hairstylist program will be added to our growing list. Increasing apprentice mobility is a priority for our government," said Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour. "The Red Seal Endorsement for hairstylists is a step towards achieving our goals; not only will it open more opportunities for B.C. professionals it will also encourage others to come work in our province as well."

"We are very excited to re-introduce the Red Seal Endorsement for Hairstylists in BC and launch the new apprenticeship pathway," said Jeff Lekstrom, COO, ITA. "The new program will strengthen the industry in BC and ensure that certified Hairstylists are being trained and assessed according to consistent standards that have been established through collaboration with industry leaders."

"Our mandate is to encourage certification for all practitioners in the beauty industry so we are in full support of the return of the Red Seal Certification in BC," says Lorrie Killer, Chair, BeautyCouncil. "Professionalism is the cornerstone of the BeautyCouncil and we believe that ITA's standardized approach to training and certification reinforces those values."

About the Industry Training Authority
The Industry Training Authority (ITA) leads and coordinates British Columbia's skilled trades system. ITA works with employers, employees, industry, labour, training providers and government to issue credentials, manage apprenticeships, set program standards and increase opportunities in the trades. ITA is also a key collaborator in B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint, which sets out a plan for re-engineering our education and training system to support our growing and changing economy, and to help British Columbians take full advantage of the opportunities presented by these changes.

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Contact Information:

For interviews, photos, or more information please contact:

Susan Kirk
Director of Communications, ITA
Tel: 778-785-2410
Cell: 604-307-2122

Kyla Way
Edelman Vancouver
Tel: 604-648-3447
Cell: 604-613-6413