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British Columbia introduces funding to encourage students to consider trades

Delta, BC – The British Columbia government is investing an additional $1.1 million to encourage students to pursue a future in skilled trades, says John Yap, minister of advanced education, innovation and technology.


Delta, BC – The British Columbia government is investing an additional $1.1 million to encourage students to pursue a future in skilled trades, says John Yap, minister of advanced education, innovation and technology.

“We want young people to see that a life-long career in the trades is a very smart choice, offering a secure future in a rewarding, respected, skilled and well-paying career,” said Yap.

“Under the BC Jobs Plan, and as part of our new Skills and Training Plan, we want to encourage more students in the K-to-12 system to be thinking about – and training for – careers in the trades. Raising the profile of careers in the skilled trades and engaging employers for the critical role they play in industry training will benefit BC, industry, today’s apprentices and the skilled trades learners of tomorrow.”

The funding will benefit students, apprentices, instructors and employers in a range of occupations through programs developed by Trades Training Consortium BC, Skills Canada BC and the Industry Training Authority of BC (ITA).

An investment of $675,000 will support the Discover Trades program led by Trades Training Consortium of BC, a group of 14 public post-secondary institutions that promote trades training in BC, to provide easy access to information to secondary students about the many opportunities available for trades training around the province.

A Discover Trades BC website – http://www.discovertradesbc.ca – has been launched that includes testimonials from fellow students and has workbooks and resources for primary, middle and secondary teachers to use in getting more students excited about trades work.

Skills Canada BC will receive an investment of $125,000 to prepare British Columbia secondary and post-secondary students and apprentices for the Skills Canada National Competition 2013, taking place in Vancouver, June 5-8, 2013. In addition to hosting regional and provincial competitions, Skills Canada BC links industry, educators and students through annual trade and technology career fairs, the largest of their kind in BC.

“The Discover Trades BC website helps students in the K-to-12 system think about, and train for, careers in the trades. The website also provides teachers and parents with resources to introduce trades in the classroom and at home,” said Kelly Betts, project manager, Discover Trades BC and president, Skills Canada BC.

“Further to that, Skills Canada BC hosts 14 regional Olympic-style competitions, featuring the most talented trades and technology students from across the province. These events also provide opportunities for the thousands of youth who attend as spectators to explore the many career options that are available in the skilled trades and technologies. With the additional support from the provincial government, we’ll be able to expand our programming and provide even more opportunities for BC youth to explore their future career goals.”

An investment of $300,000 will support the Industry Training Authority (ITA) to engage employers and improve their participation in training and hiring apprentices from post-secondary trades training programs. The ITA works with employers, employees, industry, labour, training providers and government to manage apprenticeships, set program standards, and increase opportunities in the trades.

“Employers are the lifeblood of the apprenticeship system with eighty per cent of apprenticeship training taking place on the job,” said Kevin Evans, CEO, ITA. “The added investment in employer engagement will help us recognize and celebrate our current employer sponsors while also encouraging more employers to join in and sponsor apprentices.”

More information is available, as follows.

• Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan: http://www.bcjobsplan.ca

• Discover Trades: http://www.discovertradesbc.ca

• The Industry Training Authority: http://www.itabc.ca

• The ACE-IT program: http://www.itabc.ca/youth-educators/ace-it-program.