Opening doors to trades training for youth, women

NEW funding is being invested in thousands of youth, women and under-represented groups to get the training and support they need for apprenticeships and employment in the skilled trades, the Province announced on Thursday.

At Sir Charles Tupper Secondary school, Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, announced that $12.4 million will support seven new programs to help 2,036 women and other under-represented groups access opportunities for pre-apprenticeship training, apprenticeship services and employment.

Additionally, an estimated 1,300 secondary students throughout B.C. will benefit from access to trades training, with $1.37 million to fund Industry Training Authority (ITA) Youth Work in Trades programs at 51 school districts and several independent schools.

“Our government is committed to moving the dial for women, young people and under-represented groups who want to reap the economic benefits of a good paying, family-supporting career in the trades,” said Mark. “We value the tradespeople who work hard every day to keep our lights on, our homes warm and our cars running. These new programs will open pathways to opportunity for young people who wish to pursue their dream careers in the trades, while also ensuring employers have access to an industry-ready labour force to continue building the best B.C.”

The ITA is providing $12.4 million in supports for women and other under-represented groups, with funding provided through the Canada-BC Workforce Development Agreement. The programs increase access to opportunities for apprenticeship training, apprenticeship services and employment.

Funding for the Youth Work in Trades programs comes from the ITA’s annual youth budget. It is a dual credit program for students in grades 10-12 that allows them to earn credits towards high school graduation and begin the paid work-based training component of an apprenticeship.

“Access to the Youth Work in Trades program gives students a head start on training for a good career by providing real-world experience and high school credits,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education. “Together with the ITA and school districts across the province, we are ensuring that students have better opportunities to transition into the workforce.”

Paulette Higgins, Director of Training Investment, ITA, said: “ITA is thrilled with the opportunity to continue supporting and expanding programs for women and other under-represented groups, and to encourage youth to pursue one of the 100 rewarding trades careers in B.C. Innovative approaches to pre-apprenticeship training, apprenticeship services and employment help increase the number of under-represented people working in the trades and completing their apprenticeships.”

Suzanne Hoffman, Superintendent, School District 39, said: “Working with the ITA, the district is able to provide hands-on trades training in our secondary schools and on-the-job training that provides engaging learning opportunities. Such programs expose our students to some of the diverse range of opportunities that exist, where they can begin to consider how they can match career paths with their interests and passions.”

Riley McBride, electrical apprentice, Protec Installation Group, said: “I really benefited from having the opportunity to learn and work in a trade while in high school at Sir Charles Tupper Secondary. I’m already a Level 3 electrical apprentice, and I’ve found a great career where I can combine hands-on work with problem solving and planning. Being able see a project progress and see a finished project is my dream job.”

Quick Facts:

* The 2018 Labour Market Outlook projected nearly 71,000 trades job openings in the province through 2028.

* Trades careers where skilled workers are in demand include millwrights, heavy-duty mechanics and carpenters.

* November is Apprenticeship Recognition Month in B.C.

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Industry Training Authority: