The B.C. government is helping support a new youth ambassador program to promote trades and technology careers to young people in K to 12.
Through a one-time $300,000 grant Trades Training B.C. (TTBC) will design and implement the program that will provide in-school presentations throughout the province. Ambassadors will bring knowledge and understanding of training in their chosen field as they share their passion and pride in their career to encourage other youth to explore available trades and technical opportunities.
The idea for youth ambassadors is a direct result of the engagement government held with British Columbians last fall, supporting the provincial Skills and Training Plan.
The youth ambassador program is in addition to a $1.2-million provincial effort launched last fall, aimed at getting more young people interested in the trades and ensuring today's students will have the skills they need to fill the jobs of tomorrow.
Trades Training B.C., a group of 14 public post-secondary institutions, promotes trades training in B.C., including the Discover Trades program, which provides easy access to information to secondary students about the many opportunities available for trades training around the province.
The Discover Trades BC website - www.discovertradesbc.ca - includes workbooks and resources for primary, middle and secondary teachers to use in getting more students excited about trades work. It also boasts extensive resources and information for parents and students, including testimonials from students who have already chosen to pursue training in the trades, links to skills assessment tools, career profiles, and secondary and post-secondary trades training programs.
In addition to a youth ambassador program and the Discover Trades website, the Discover Trades and Technologies First Hand program through Skills Canada BC also provides opportunities for students to explore trades and technology careers.
The program offers students between the ages of 11 and 18 an opportunity to try a variety of interactive, challenging and fun activities in a safe and engaging environment at any one of the 13 Skills Canada BC regional competitions, and the provincial competition on April 17 at the Tradex Trade & Exhibition Centre in Abbotsford. Professional industry representatives and educators will be on-hand to guide spectators through a variety of activities while answering questions and sharing their experiences about skilled trade and technology careers.
Minister of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology Ralph Sultan -
"The youth ambassador program is a great opportunity for more students in the K-to-12 system to be thinking about - and get a taste for - careers in the trades."
Minister of Jobs, Tourism, and Skills Training Pat Bell -
"Government is committed to ensuring that British Columbia has a skilled workforce that is ready for the many opportunities coming our way here in B.C. That's why ensuring youth have access to information on trades that will be in demand and how to get the necessary skills training is critical to meeting that need."
Minister of Education Don McRae -
"Getting kids excited about the trades and technology careers will ensure more of our young people are able to take advantage of the growing demand for skilled workers throughout B.C. We want our young people to be first in line for well-paying jobs in the trades and technology sectors and programs like this help to show kids the many career options that are available."
Trades Training BC's Jim Reed -
"We look forward to working with Skills BC, industry, the K-12 system and government in introducing a new program that promotes the great opportunity a career in trades offers our youth. The availability of a skilled workforce is critical to our Province's economic future and a program such as this will help to recruit young people to trades programs at any one of our 14 public institutions."
BC Skills and Training Plan: www.bcjobsplan.ca/skills/bc-skills-and-training-plan
Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan: http://www.bcjobsplan.ca
Trades Training B.C.: http://www.tradestrainingbc.ca/
Discover Trades: http://www.discovertradesbc.ca
Skills Canada BC: http://www.skillscanada.bc.ca
Industry Training Authority: http://www.itabc.ca/youth-trades/overview
Ministry of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology