Al Phillips
Executive Director
Gas B Endorsement
Director of Training Certificate
(604) 540-1945, 423

Al started his apprenticeship in 1990 and quickly rose in the ranks of our industry, becoming a Red Seal Journeyperson Steamfitter. Al became a shop stewart on many many jobs and was soon elected to office as an executive of UA Local 170. Some of the positions Al has held were: E-Board (9 years), Vice President (6 years), Interim Business Agent (2 years), and Conference Board (3 years). In addition to these positions Al has held countless seats on numerous boards and committees, serving the Journeypersons and apprentices of our Industry.

Al is the happy father of three children and has been married for over ten years. He feels that the most important thing to do every day is to ask yourself what have you done today to make things better for others and for yourself. As the Executive Director of the UAPICBC Al has taken the organisation from a sleepy welding test centre to a state of the art leader in the industry of trades training. He is the first one to tell you that the collective experience of the UAPICBC staff and it’s over 700 years of related experience is what makes us great!

Barry Donaldson
Programme Resource Coordinator
Welder, Red Seal A Level
AWS Weld Inspector
Steel Fabricator
Gas B Endorsement
Train the Trainer
Forman Trainer
Medical Gas Trainer
(604) 540-1945, 425

Barry grew up in Coquitlam, where he is now raising his two children, He has worked in every corner of the province, in addition to having travelled throughout the world, including: Europe, Asia, South America, North America, and Australia. Back in '94 he rode his motorcycle down through Central America, over to Columbia, and then down to Argentina. He then sailed across the Atlantic to Poland, from there riding over to Jordan. Afterwhich he flew to Kenya and then travelled all over southern Africa; returning in '96.

Joining the training centre in 2006: instructing, designing and helping to build the welding shop; taking on more responsibility as time went on, and was promoted to his new position in 2010. He feels this industry has afforded him the opportunity to come and go as he pleases. "I enjoy working in challenging environments, especially those where my welds are 100% x-rayed."

Barry's advice to a young person getting into the trade (besides learning to listen and follow directions) is to learn as much as you can, as fast as possible. When you stop learning at a job, it's time to quit and find a new job: one that challenges your mind. You are a commodity, make yourself as valuable as possible.

Glenn Wong
Gas B Endorsement
Cross Connection
(604) 540-1945, 429

Glenn served his apprenticeship through the UA, beginning with a six week pre-apprenticeship and then continuing on to practice his trade within the commercial and institutional sectors of our industry.

Before entering the field of plumbing, Glenn spent close to two decades in the forest industry. Most of which as a production supervisor for MacMillan Bloedel's Canadian White Pine Division. Glenn compliments his many years of work experience in this sector with two diplomas, one in Forest Management and the other in Forest Products Manufacturing.

Glenn enjoys spending his free time at home with his wife and two children. Outside of the home you may catch him on his 1,200cc sport bike, but don't blink or you could miss him!

Pavel Pajger
Gas B Endorsement
Cross Connection
(604) 540-1945, 442

Pavel was born in the former Czechoslovakia. After high school he went on to the Secondary Vocational College in City of Povazska Bystrica. This was a four year full time study program. After completion and receiving a Machinist Certificate, Pavel worked at a machinist factory; afterwhich he decided to pursue his teaching career.

He was accepted at The Faculty of Education in City of Banska Bystrica. He received his teaching certificate and started his new career at the the very same college: this time as a teacher teaching young apprentices.

When Pavel arrived in British Columbia he began his career working in plumbing industry as an apprentice. In May of 2000 Pavel obtained Journeyperson's status in this trade. During his 17 years as a plumber, Pavel worked in residential, commercial, and service sectors.

In late 2007 his career took yet another turn, as Pavel came back to his original passion of teaching apprentices; this time in the piping trades.

Merv Kube
A Level
Level II Inspector
Instructor's Diploma
(604) 540-1945, 424

After working on a pipeline job in 1970, Merv attended welding school in Nelson, British Columbia; and went on to become a pipe welder with pressure pipe certification, in both British Columbia and Alberta. Over the next 30 years Merve built a diverse career, including: pipeline welding across Canada and lay barge construction in the German North Sea, maintaining the Chevron oil refinery in the Bahamas, and teaching welding at Selkirk College back in Nelson, British Columbia.

In 2001 Merve came to the UAPICBC to develop the C, B, and A level welding programs. He is a Level II Certified Welding Inspector, and has an instructor's diploma from Michigan State University.

Merv's dedication and passion for welding education is evidenced by his participation in ITA's curriculum development, as well as the Welding Articulation Committee (WAC). Merv's fascination for the art of welding, and his passion for welding education and skill building is something that students admire.

Ricardo Rivera
Welding Instructor
Welder, A Level Red Seal
American Welding Society - Certified Welding Inspector, Level II
(604) 540-1945, 427

Ricardo is a Certified Welding Inspector and a Certified Welding Educator by the American Welding Society. He is also a Level II Inspector by the ASNT( American Society for Nondestructive Testing). He holds an Interprovincial Red Seal as a Level A Welder with Pressure Certifications for PWP 6, 7, 10 and Alberta B ( BCP 100). He is also a Canadian Welding Bureau and an American Bureau of Shipping Certified Welder.

Ricardo has been in the welding industry for over 23 years, working as a welder, inspector, supervisor and as an instructor. As a welder he has worked with heavy duty equipment, machinery, trailers, cargo containers, boilers, pressure pipes, structures etc. As an inspector he worked for over seven years as a IICL 5 Inspector for the American Bureau of Shipping. He has worked as a AWS – CWI Inspector in Alberta and as a Supervisor for over three years in Vancouver so we can say that Ricardo has been around.

Nowadays we find Ricardo doing what he likes the most sharing his experiences with what he calls “the future of this country”. As for the trade Ricardo has nothing but good things to say about it. Like he says, "this trade and this country has been good to me." It has provided me with a very good source of income and has allowed me the freedom to enjoy my life not only as a tradesperson but as a human being. My advice for young people is ”if I could do it anyone can” it is just a matter of working hard to achieve your goals. The great thing about learning a trade in Canada is the higher level of instruction that an apprentice gets from their instructors here.

Iain Reid
Welding Instructor
Welder, A Level
(250) 263-9595

Iain began his welding career by attending a Level C welding course in 1997. He has worked in Gas Turbine engine component and aircraft repair welding, tool and die repair welding, movie prop fabrication, stainless fabrication for the Okanagan wine industry and, after a move to Fort St. John, the oil and gas industry in north-eastern B.C. He is currently the welding instructor at the Fort St. John branch campus. In his spare time he enjoys fishing, gardening, travelling, camping with his family and, yes, even welding.

"I got into welding for the money but I've stayed in it for the challenges and the sense of personal satisfaction that overcoming these challenges provides."

"If there is one piece of advice I can offer a new tradesperson it is that I can't stress enough the importance of hard work. You get as much out of your training as the effort you put in. As long as you provide the work ethic we'll provide the training and with that combination the sky's the limit as to what you can achieve."



John has been a proud member of Local 170 since1989. From 1989 to 1992 John attended both PIAB and BCIT, and completed his apprenticeship in plumbing, including his class B Gas certificate, and Cross Connection certificate. He has worked in Commercial and Industrial projects throughout his career. Later in his career he worked as a foreman, specializing in heating and cooling systems.  

John decided to go into teaching in 2009 because he wanted to share his experience and knowledge in the industry that he had trained in. He currently teaches Common Core Level 1, and has also taught Plumbing Level 2, Foundation, and Exploratory while teaching here.

John has attended Instructor Training courses at Washtenaw College in Michigan since 2010, and will graduate in Aug. 2014.

John has been married to Teresa since 1995, with two sons, Justin, and Kyle. He is actively involved in coaching his sons’ soccer and ball hockey teams, and also likes to participate in those sports. One of John’s favorite activities is boating at Pitt Lake with family and friends, whether wakeboarding, skiing, or simply relaxing on the water.

John’s philosophy is to be versatile and to gain as much experience in your field as you can, in order to be a good tradesperson. He believes that enrolling in a piping trade at U.A.P.I.C. is an excellent choice, in order to receive top quality training, and be well prepared for the future.