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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Amendments to the Employment Standards Act will change the age requirements for youth in certain hazardous occupations starting on January 1st.

The changes were made to the act in October 2022 and will change the age required to work certain hazardous jobs such as forestry, construction, and oil and gas. 

Some jobs, such as construction and forest fire fighting, will require workers to be 16 years old. Meanwhile, other jobs like oil and gas drilling or underground work will require employees to be 18 years old.

According to B.C.’s Ministry of Labour, those undertaking apprenticeships who are under age will be able to undertake their program through Skilled Trades BC. Furthermore, any current employee who reaches the new legal age by April 1st, 2023, is exempted. 

These changes come after public and stakeholder consultations and analysis of injury data for several different industries, said the ministry in a release.

For more information on the amendments, including a complete list of jobs with new age restrictions, please visit the Government of B.C.’s website.

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Katherine Caddel is a recent graduate of Laurentian University's English Media and Rhetoric program. They grew up in Northern Ontario and recently decided to make the North Peace their new home. When not at work, Katherine enjoys horror movies, playing video games and Dungeons and Dragons.