The B.C. government is investing an additional $1.1 million to encourage students to pursue a future in skilled trades, John Yap, Minister of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology announced today.
"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 B.C., 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 B.C., Skills Canada BC and the Industry Training Authority of B.C. (ITA).
An investment of $675,000 will support the Discover Trades program led by Trades Training Consortium of B.C., a group of 14 public post-secondary institutions that promote trades training in B.C., 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 - 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. 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 B.C.
"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 B.C. 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."
Yap made the announcement today in the automotive shop at Seaquam Secondary school. Seaquam, as part of the Delta school district, trains high school students in automotive services technology under the ACE-IT program. ACE-IT is a partnership between ITA and the B.C. Ministry of Education. It allows high school students to take first level technical training that gives them dual credit for high school courses and apprenticeship or industry training programs.
Through school districts, ACE-IT provides opportunities for students to pursue an apprenticeship career path to obtain the first level of technical training in a particular trade. Technical training classes are most often taught in partnership at public colleges, but can also be offered at school district facilities.
B.C.'s Skills and Training Plan is expanding and aligning skills training programs with economic opportunities to ensure British Columbians have the right skills, in the right places, at the right times. For youth, it is building on existing investments and programs offered through K-12 and post-secondary institutions, to get more young people interested in trades. The plan includes efforts to increase dual credits for students still in high school and increase the number of graduates proceeding immediately from high school to a trades or technical program.
The B.C. government invests over $100 million annually in industry training through the ITA. This is on top of the $1.9 billion annually -- $5 million daily -- through the Ministry of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology to operate B.C.'s public post-secondary system.
- Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan: www.bcjobsplan.ca
- Discover Trades, visit: http://www.discovertradesbc.ca
- The Industry Training Authority, visit: http://www.itabc.ca
- The ACE-IT program, visit: http://www.itabc.ca/youth-educators/ace-it-program
Ministry of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology