Training Guidelines


British Columbia Line Contractors

Providing a safe and professional product for all clients, the Line Contractors of British Columbia are extremely passionate about their trade and deliver a quality product in the safest way possible- day in and day out. Each contactor heavily invests in their workforce by continuously providing training. These contractors are key to BC’s economy and specialize in the construction of electrical overhead and underground transmission and distribution systems, substations, maintenance, fiber optics, and storm restoration work. The contractors are committed to quality, safety, and customer satisfaction.

Employer Training Guidelines

Hiring and the Initial Selection of a Trades Trainee

Hiring an Apprentice is investing in the future of your company and helping strengthen BC’s workforce.

Your Role in Apprenticeship Training

Employers signatory to the Master Line Agreement hire young workers into a “Trade’s Trainee“ position where they are evaluated daily in consideration of indentureship into the apprenticeship program.

Trades Trainees are employees in an entry-level position that is intended to provide job and crew support, exposure to the trade, and to provide the Trades Trainee with the knowledge and basic job skills to prepare for entry into the Apprenticeship Program.

This is a minimum of 6 to 12 months probationary position.  During this period the Employer will evaluate the Trades Trainee’s practical skills and the Trades Trainee will complete the academic program pre-requisites.

As an Employer, you are responsible for:

  • The hiring and initial selection of a young worker for the Trades Trainee position.
  • Registering the Trades Trainee with the JLATA and Local 258 IBEW at the time of or prior to employment.
  • Providing the Trades Trainee with supervision, exposure to the PLT trade, basic knowledge, and job skills to prepare them for entry into the PLT Apprenticeship Program.
  • Evaluating and reporting the progress of the Trades Trainee.
  • Determining if the individual has the attributes to be successful in the PLT Apprenticeship Program.

Each year, Employers put forward to the Board the names of trainees who show potential in the trade and have met the program prerequisites. After careful evaluation, the Board approves, on average, 15 Trades Trainees for indentureship into the program.

Trades Trainees who are not selected due to the competitiveness of the program or found to have skill deficiencies, but showed potential, may be granted an extension of Trades Trainee status and given a second opportunity at the next intake. Only one extension may be granted. Trades Trainees who have not completed the program prerequisites after 12 months are either hired as a Driver/Helper or terminated.

Board-approved Trades Trainees are indentured as Apprentices to the JLATA – not the individual company.

 Trades Trainee Program Prerequisites Checklist: 


  • High School Diploma or a government recognized high school  equivalency certificate
  • Pre-Calculus 11 or higher
  • Physics 11 or higher
  • English 12
  • CNC Electric Utility Fundamentals (online course)


  • Class 3 driver’s license with Air Brake Endorsement
  • Registered as a Trades Trainee with the JLATA and Local 258 IBEW for a minimum of 6 months


  • Minimum of 6-12 months supervised work experience with current Employer and recorded in the Trades Trainee Log Book.
  • Practical skills evaluated and verified by Employer through a series of Field Progress Assessments.

Trades Trainee Scope of Work

All Trades Trainees must be under the direct supervision of the journeyman PLT and shall be provided with enough instruction to ensure his/her safety. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHALL THE TRADES TRAINEE BE ALLOWED TO COME INTO CONTACT WITH LOW OR HIGH VOLTAGE.

Under the direction of a qualified Journeyman or Sub-Foreman, a Trades Trainee may:

  • Use hand tools
  • identify materials
  • Work as a ground person & material handler
  • Dig pole holes, anchors, etc.
  • Perform labour-type work in pole setting and URD
  • Operate bucket and boom trucks
  • Climb
  • Install and pull on cold construction
  • Frame poles on the ground
  • Clean up 

Managing Apprentices

Apprentices are employees in training and, as such are entitled to be instructed in every aspect of the trade-in which s/he is learning.

Employers must be committed to actively promoting skill development by providing adequate field experience. During the apprenticeship, Apprentices are monitored and mentored. Each supervisor of an Apprentice submits a number of Field Progress Reports to the JLATA.

As an Employer you are responsible for: 

  • Ensuring the Apprentice has proper equipment and understands the safety standards of your workplace.
  • Supervising, training, and instructing as needed for the development of his/her skills to the Journeyman level.
  • Allow the Apprentice to attend his/her in-school technical training.
  • Reviewing and reporting progress (Ensuring accuracy of hours and details of Apprentice reports).
  • Advancing Apprentices in Term status when notified by the JLATA
  • Reporting any changes in Apprentice employment
  • Evaluating and recommending the Apprentice for certification

Rotational Experience

Should the Apprentice not have exposure to the full scope of the trade with a single Employer, the JLATA may arrange for the Apprentice to be temporarily moved to another company where the missing competencies and skills are being delivered. It is not uncommon to see an Apprentice move from one Employer to another during their apprenticeship. This practice provides exceptional value as “no apprentice is left behind”. As a result, the industry is much better served.

Contractor Ratio Requirements

Apprentice and Trades Trainee ratios are subject to annual manpower survey and analysis by the JLATA.

As per Appendix “C” of the Master Line Agreement, in no circumstances shall Apprentice and Trades Trainee ratios violate BC Hydro, Works Safe BC, or any other safety regulations that are in force at a specified work site or location.

Apprentice Scope of Work

Under no circumstances shall an Apprentice Powerline Technician be considered as part of the required complement of Journeyman Powerline Technician until s/he has successfully completed their first term (5th) of the program.  In no circumstances shall the variance of the guidelines violate BC Hydro, WorkSafeBC, or any other recognized safety regulations that are in force at a specified worksite or location.

An Apprentice Powerline Technician shall not be called upon to come into direct contact with high voltage equipment or conductors that are potentially alive, except under the following circumstances and under the direct supervision of a Journeyman Powerline Technician:


  • First Month- no contact
  • After one month-less than 750 volts A.C.
  • After 12 months- single phase live-line work
  • After 18 months – all live line work, excluding bare hand
  • After 30 months – same restrictions as Journeyman Lineman

Education, Training & Certification

Employers are responsible for providing worker instruction and training under section 21 of the Workers Compensation Act. The Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Regulation also requires mandatory worker education, training, and/or certification in many cases. Where specified in the Regulation, education, training, and certification must meet an acceptable training standard, or be provided by a person or agency acceptable to WorkSafeBC.

BC OHS Regulation

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The Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Regulation contains legal requirements that must be met by all workplaces under the inspection jurisdiction of WorkSafeBC. Many sections of the Regulation have associated guidelines and policies. This mobile app allows users to search and browse the OHS Regulation, Prevention Policies, OHS Guidelines, and WCB Standards even if there is no Internet or cell phone service available.

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Enhancing health & safety culture & performance

Your workplace’s health and safety culture, proactive management of health and safety, and health and safety performance are interlinked. Building a strong health and safety culture will have a positive impact on your workers, your bottom line, and public perception.


Out of Province Journeyman Guidelines

  • Register Journeymen with the Local 258 IBEW
  • Supervise and sign-off on completion of 500 Live Line hours
  • Coordinate PSSP Category 2, 3, and 5 training as applicable and Limits of Approach.

Requirements to work on BC Hydro System

  • Proof of 500 logged Live Line hours (a minimum of 300 hours in LL3 Phase)
  • PSSP Category 2, 3 are mandatory, while PSSP 5 authorizes right to SPG’s and Live Line permits
  • To be authorized to BC Hydro PSSP Category (5), Journeymen must provide proof of an IP Certificate and completion of 500 Live Line hours

Journeymen with NO IP or Red Seal Challenge Pathway

  • Register Journeymen with the IBEW Local 258
  • Verify completion of 9,525 documented hours of directly related experience working in the occupation, including a minimum of 500 hours completed with a crew doing “Live Line” work.
  • Apply to the Industry Training Authority to Challenge the Certification of Qualification Interprovincial (IP) Examination.

Powering BC Through Excellence in Training

The Joint Line Apprenticeship Training Association has the managerial oversight for the program to assure Apprentices in the Powerline Technician Apprenticeship Program are provided the best training and learning experience within the trade.