Canada’s Building Trades Unions introduces Building It Green – Canada’s most comprehensive climate-focused construction curriculum

OTTAWA, ON – Today, Canada’s Building Trades Unions (CBTU) announced the first pilot implementation of Building It Green – Canada’s most comprehensive climate-focused construction education curriculum, designed by tradespeople for tradespeople. Funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Canadian Apprenticeship Strategy’s Union Training and Innovation Program – Innovation in Apprenticeship, Building It Green will be available in over 200 union training centres from coast-to-coast to support Canada’s Building Trades Unions’ employer and contractor partners, as the program rolls out nationally over the coming months. 

Designed to empower trainers, journeypersons, and apprentices as Canada sets out to achieve its environmental targets, Building It Green is a national union training program intended to strengthen the construction industry’s ability to meet the challenges of climate change. Developed by CBTU, with project partners, the Building It Green project will provide apprentices, trainers, and journeypersons with a deep understanding of how climate change and sustainability intersect with construction and the impact they have on Canada’s future.  

Together, with SkillPlan, Climate Industry Research Team (CIRT), and Social Research and Demonstration Corporation (SRDC), and through funding provided by Employment and Social Development Canada’s (ESDC) Canadian Apprenticeship Strategy’s Union Training and Innovation Program – Innovation in Apprenticeship, Canada’s Building Trades Unions undertook a multi-year project beginning in 2021 to understand the challenges the construction industry can address in supporting Canada’s ambitious net-zero goals. This program is now coming to fruition. 

“Skilled tradespeople are the front-line workers directly responsible for carrying out much of the work needed to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions,” said Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages, Randy Boissonnault.  “Our government’s investment in this project with the Canada’s Building Trades Unions is ensuring that apprentices and journeypersons in the construction industry are better equipped with the on-the-job skills that are required to continue to build Canada’s growing clean economy.” 

“Canada’s tradespeople are vital to seeing through the green transformation of our infrastructure and communities,” shared Sean Strickland, Executive Director of Canada’s Building Trades Unions. “Canada’s Building Trades Unions is committed to supporting our members by enriching their training and long-term skill development, and we’re proud to provide a program where our members will learn alongside each other, across trades, as our industry collaborates together to build a sustainable future,” continued Strickland. “In addition to being deployed across our union training centres, all instructors who have completed the first phase of the Building It Green curriculum will have the opportunity to complete additional training modules through a train the trainer model which have been adapted to over 14 specific trades.” 

Representing over 12,000 professional tradespeople, including 3,000 apprentices, throughout Nova Scotia, Mainland Building Trades Council is the first to roll out Building It Green curriculums in Canada. The curriculum was guided by an Advisory Committee, encompassing affiliate members of Canada’s Building Trades Unions’ and national training directors from coast-to-coastwho shared their expertise throughout the research and curriculum development stages for trade-specific training. 

“Our partners are increasingly incorporating climate considerations in their project plans, and this program will help us ensure we can meet their workforce needs,” says Brad Smith, Executive Director of Mainland Nova Scotia Building Trades, “We’re proud to be the first program up and running in Canada and leading on training for our members.”   

“This unprecedented collaboration between skilled trades workers, climate experts, union training centres, and workforce development experts will ensure Canada has the workforce it needs to meet the challenges of climate change. We’re proud to have collaborated with CBTU as well as other project partners including SRDC – who are integral in evaluating the program delivery model, and the Climate Industry Research Team – a specialized team of academic researchers in apprenticeships, trades training and critical low carbon construction issues – to make this program a success,” said Kyle Downie, CEO of SkillPlan. 

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Media Contacts 

Canada’s Building Trades Unions 
Nathan Carr, 416-333-8732 | 
Amy Burlock, 613-301-4795 |  

About Canada’s Building Trades Unions 

Canada’s Building Trades Unions are an alliance of 14 international unions in the construction, maintenance and fabrication industries that collectively represent 600,000 skilled trades workers in Canada. Each year, our unions and our signatory contractor partners invest over $300 million in private sector money to fund and operate over 195 apprenticeship training and education facilities across Canada that produce the safest, most highly trained and productive skilled craft workers found anywhere in the world. Canada’s Building Trades Unions represent members who work in more than 60 different trades and occupations and generate six per cent of Canada’s GDP. For more information, go to 

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