The message that trades are the jobs of tomorrow seems to be getting through to local high school students.
“School District 20 is one of the highest ranked districts in the province by the Industry Training Authority, with over 137 students graduating from the program in 2012 to 2015,” says Murray McConnachie, district trades coordinator. “Currently 48 students are in the program for 2016-17.”
There are extra costs for apprentice students, including travel to Nelson for respective foundation courses and later, to begin an apprenticeship in trades such as electrical, millwright/machinist or carpentry.
News came this week that Kootenay Columbia received $20,000 from the Ministry of Jobs … Labour to boost trades training in high schools – the district was one of 45 in B.C. awarded the funding for Youth Work in Trades.
“This is the $20,000 Secondary School Apprenticeship grant that we use to support the placement of secondary school students who are earning credit by working as registered apprentices while in school,” explained McConnachie. “Or after they have graduated from the Ace- It Trades Training Program,” he added.
“The funds go to support mentoring time, financially needy students books and fees, and credentially for students.”
Youth Work in Trades, formerly Secondary School Apprenticeship (SSA), is a dual credit program that provides an opportunity for B.C. students in grades 10, 11 and 12 to begin their apprenticeship journey. The funds support school districts in placing students with local employers to attain practical experience. Students earn a pay cheque while gaining credit toward their high school diploma and the apprenticeship portion of their trades training.
The funding helps districts cover staffing costs to support and guide youth in securing jobs and employer sponsorship required to enter the trade apprenticeship system. It will also help youth transition from technical training to work-based training, and build further awareness of opportunities in the skilled trades among youth, parents, educators and employers in their communities.
In response to the objectives outlined in B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and the McDonald Report, the B.C. government has worked in partnership with the ITA to begin building a demand-driven trades training system with funding aligned to specific in-demand trades.