Aim for a Red Seal

Image of Interprovincial Red Seal Program

What is the Red Seal Program?

The Red Seal Program is a common curriculum of technical trade skills and knowledge for each trade used across Canada. Manitoba provincial in-class technical training is aligned with the Red Seal Program.  Apprentices must complete each level of a trade and then pass a Red Seal Examination. All tests, assignments and final exam must meet a minimum standard of 70%. Upon successful completion, the apprentice becomes recognized as a Red Seal journey person.

xams are designed to give journey persons the ability to work in all provinces and territories in Canada without having to re-train (some exceptions apply in Quebec).

Why Should you get a Red Seal?

Very simply: it helps you advance in your career and meet your lifestyle needs. 

You will

1) develop expertise and advanced problem solving skills and knowledge,
2) have more options for where you can work, and
3) gain better pay, (each trade has prescribed and incremental minimum wages).

Know More - Be an Expert

A Red Seal is a recognized certification for many different trades across Canada. Customers and employers know and trust that a Red Seal journey person is knowledgeable, skilled and experienced. The Red Seal confirms that you achieved a nationally recognized level of expertise in your trade.

New Technology: For each level that an apprentice attends in-class technical training, they can expect to learn about new products, techniques and applications.  The Red Seal trades are regularly updating curriculum to prepare apprentices for new technology. 

Understand Trade Rules and Regulations: Apprentices will also learn codes and rules as they apply to their trade. Understanding the rules of a trade are important to make sure trade work is done properly.

Train Others: Apprentices will also be taught how to become trainers on the job site. After all, every apprentice needed to be trained by someone else.  This helps ensure that new apprentices are given quality instruction by journey persons or qualified designated trainers.

Networking Opportunities: Apprentices that attend in-class technical training start to create a larger network of people who are doing the same things that they are doing. This includes teachers, Apprenticeship Manitoba representatives and other apprentices  Apprentices learn from each other and get to know what is happening in their trade across Manitoba. 

Take a look at what you will learn at each level of in-class technical training by going to Apprenticeship Manitoba Trades. Choose your trade and go to the section called Training Standards. The following example is from the Carpenter trade.

Carpentry Training Standards 2022 Picture

Next, choose the Level Chart to see the units of study for each level. The example below is from the Carpenter trade:

Carpentry Level Chart Picture

To see how apprentices progress through their levels and complete a trade go to the  Pathways through Apprenticeship page

Work Opportunities - You Have Options

Your trade certification is recognized in other provinces and territories. As a Red Seal journey person, you can find work across Canada and here at home in Manitoba. You can work in cities and live in rural areas.  Many Red Seal journey persons work in the United States and around the world.

Completing your trade can also lead to other kinds of jobs.  You could become a project leader, start your own business, work in related areas of a company, become a trades teacher and be eligible to work some government jobs. Your trade may help you to better understand your next career.  Take for example a Red Seal carpenter.  Years of knowledge and experience would be incredibly important if your choose to become an architect or building engineer. 

Earn Better Pay

In Manitoba, each trade has its own minimum wage.  The minimum wage increases after each level of training is completed. Students should understand that a minimum wage means the least an employer must pay you. An employer may pay you more than minimum wage.

To find out about the minimum wage in your trade, go to Apprenticeship Manitoba Trades. Choose your trade and find the trade regulations link. Find the section that says Minimum Wage Rates. See the example below for the Automotive Service Technician trade:

Auto Service Technician Minimum Wage Image

An Auto Service Technician minimum wage for level one would be 135% multiplied by the current Manitoba minimum wage ($15.30). This would equal $20.65/hour.

It is a little trickier to determine the minimum wage of a construction trade. The construction trade wage rules is based on the type of work and scale of the building project. The wages fall under the following categories:

1. Industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) construction - see wage table,

2. Heavy Construction - see wage table,

3. The "prevailing wage rate" usually residential construction - the minimum wage is determined by the wages of the highest paid journey person on the project.

Is My Trade a Red Seal Trade?

To find out if your trade is a Red Seal trade, go to Apprenticeship Manitoba Trades and click on your trade.  There should be a Red Seal image in the top right corner of the screen.  See the Construction Electrician trade image below.

Construction Electrician Trade Image

Not all Manitoba trades are a part of the Red Seal Program. 

Manitoba Certificated Courses

Manitoba offers over 50 different apprenticeships. 
Those that are not Red Seal are typically training courses that are very specific to Manitoba like Pork Production Technician.  Manitoba pork producers  created a trade that would help their staff professionalize and get training to become barn managers through Apprenticeship Manitoba.  Pork production is an important part of Manitoba's economy.  Other provinces have not seen the same need and so do not have a Pork Production Technician apprenticeship.  More provinces would need to request this trade in order for it to become a Red Seal trade. A Pork Production Technician would receive a certificate of qualification from the Province of Manitoba but not a inter-provincial Red Seal.

Image of Pork Production Technician

Alternative Licencing

Some trades also have Alternative Licencing meaning a Manitoba Government body other than Apprenticeship Manitoba looks after licencing. Some trades have Red Seal Certification and Alternative Licencing such as Hairstylist.

Image of Hairstylist

Other trades have only Alternative Licencing such as Esthetics.

Image of Esthetician