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Training to be streamlined for B.C. funeral industry apprentices

The B.C. government is making it easier to get into the funeral business.

Apprenticeship training for embalmers and funeral directors is being streamlined with changes to the Cremation, Interment and Funeral Services regulations, Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General Mike Morris announced this week.

The changes are meant to help the funeral services sector attract, train and retain people.

Funeral director and embalmer apprentices must now be supervised at all times during their 3,600-hour practical training period, according to a release.

The changes, in effect April 1, relax these requirements as an apprentice gains more practical experience and skills.

The new rules mean full-time supervision will no longer be mandatory once an apprentice has completed half (1,800 hours) of their practical training and participated in 25 funeral contracts.

Chris Benesh, Earth’s Option Cremation and Burial Services, said in a statement that the changes will allow more versatility as apprentices undergo their two-year apprenticeship. “The new regulations allow for more flexibility for both the apprentice and the employer, which we trust will attract more professionals to the field.”

A professional embalmer disinfects, preserves and restores a body, while a funeral director arranges and conducts such things as bereavement rites and ceremonies.

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