Camosun among first in Canada to celebrate Red Seal grads

Over 30 Red Seal graduates from a range of trades crossed the stage at Camosun College’s convocation ceremony making them among the first in the country.

Convocation ceremony with grads crossing the stage and being congratuled by faculty

Camosun College

Red Seal grads included carpenter Devon Bocsik

“Attending convocation was important as it allowed me to celebrate my achievements with my family who attended and also watched on the live feed alongside other Red Seal grads,” says Hanna Thomas, Red Seal plumber who was one of 31 Red Seal graduates who attended convocation. “Having my apprenticeship acknowledged and recognized by the college and my instructors meant a lot to me.”

Inviting Red Seal graduates to convocation was a first for Camosun College and possibly any public post-secondary institution in the country as the credentials are typically awarded by the accrediting body. Red Seal graduates at convocation came from nine trades including automotive service technician, carpentry, electrical, plumbing, professional cook, refrigeration and air conditioning, sheet metal, sprinkler fitter and welding.

In British Columbia, a trades certification for an apprentice is awarded by SkilledTradesBC and not the post-secondary institution. The Red Seal Program, formally known as the Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program, is awarded by the Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship. A Red Seal endorsement is a seal on the student’s provincial trade certificate and shows they have the knowledge and skills necessary to practice their trade across Canada.

“As a graduate of the electrical apprenticeship program at Camosun College and a Red Seal electrician, I’ve had an amazing career," says Lindsay Kearns, Vice-Chair of the Board of Governors at Camosun College.

"I am glad that we were able to recognize the caliber of Red Seal grads by inviting them to cross the stage.”

- Lindsay Kearns

Each of the Red Seal grads wore black gowns with a red stole indicating that the Red Seal is similar to a four-year undergrad degree. An apprenticeship is similar to articling or interning given the number of hours required on the job for Red Seal certification of up to 6,360 for some trades in addition to up to 40 weeks of technical study.

The convocation ceremony that included Red Seal graduates had extra meaning for automotive instructor Mike Bocsik whose son Devon Bocsik with a Red Seal in carpentry was among the graduating class.

“I would have been thrilled to be able to attend convocation if it was offered when I completed my Red Seal at Camosun College in 1994,” says Bocsik. “Seeing some of the automotive and other Red Seal graduates walking across the stage was a true honour and being able to congratulate Devon meant a great deal to me both as an instructor and as his dad. I’m looking forward to congratulating the class of 2025 next year!”

Vancouver Island's largest provider of Trades Training

For over 40 years, students have come to Camosun College for trades training, and employers have come to Camosun for skilled employees. Camosun offers apprenticeship training in 20 distinct trades, including 12 trades with the Interprovincial Red Seal Endorsement.

Foundation and pre-employment programs are around six to 10 months and help students get started in entry level employment or an apprenticeship. An apprenticeship combines on-the-job training and classroom learning that leads to a trade credential – or “ticket”. A Certificate of Qualification is accepted on B.C. worksites and about 50 trades offer an Interprovincial Red Seal.


First Red Seal graduates at convocation.

Pathways to Trades

Trades and Apprenticeship programs are two starting points towards your Red Seal endorsement.

Contact information

Rodney Porter

Camosun College