As part of Apprenticeship Recognition Week, the B.C. government announced today that Vancouver Island University (VIU) will receive more than $50,500 for an innovation pilot that will improve training outcomes and employability for apprentices.
Development work on VIU’s innovation level 1 baker pilot program began last month and gives students the option of taking the program completely online. The first students will go online in January and complete the course next June. The new pilot model includes detailed videography demonstrations to deliver the curriculum material.
In 2015, the Industry Training Authority (ITA) held regional innovation forums and a provincial conference to bring training providers and industry together to discuss ways to promote more innovation in B.C.’s trades training system.
This year the ITA invited B.C.’s 14 post-secondary institutions and 24 non-public training providers that receive annual ITA funding to submit innovation pilot proposals.
The purpose of these innovation pilots is to test and evaluate novel methods of delivering trades training programs that result in better outcomes for apprentices and their employer sponsors.
Through the pilots, the ITA will promote new ways of delivering training programs to enhance apprentices’ training experiences and enable them to be more effective on the job and better meet industry’s needs.
Innovation pilots are designed to address one or more of the following four outcomes identified by industry:
- Provide more flexible and innovative training that enables employers to keep apprentices at work longer, and allow apprentices to maximize their earning potential.
- Improve employability and sponsorship out of foundation programs.
- Increase access to training for rural and under-represented groups.
- Improve alignment of technical training to the needs of apprentices and sponsors.
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.
The provincial government invests more than $94 million annually in industry training through the ITA. The ITA leads and co-ordinates British Columbia’s skilled trades system by working with employers, employees, industry, labour, training providers and government to issue credentials, manage apprenticeships, set program standards and increase opportunities in the trades.
Michelle Stilwell, MLA for Parksville-Qualicum –
“It is essential that we find new and effective methods of delivering trades training to our students, and this new program at Vancouver Island University is a great example of how it’s done. Online learning is a valuable tool that will become even more important for career-minded women and men on Vancouver Island.”
Gary Herman, CEO, Industry Training Authority –
“Our goal is to provide world-class apprenticeships for British Columbians and the innovation pilots puts the trades training in this province ahead of the curve in a very unique way. We are excited to launch these pilots and anticipate great results and ideas, which we will build upon in the future to ensure that B.C.’s trades training is responsive and relevant to the changing needs of industry.”
Glynis Steen, dean of trades and applied technology, Vancouver Island University –
“Offering level 1 of the baker apprentice program online supports one of VIU’s core values of providing many different pathways for students to access education opportunities. This innovative program, developed by VIU instructors in collaboration with Vancouver Community College and other stakeholders, combines user-friendly, online instruction materials for theory and supported guidance for practical assignments to allow students to work through the curriculum on their own timetable, without the need to travel to a campus location or take time off work to complete the program.”
- ITA provides more than 100 apprenticeship training programs in B.C., including 50 Red Seal trades.
- There are currently more than 39,000 registered apprentices in the industry training system (including youth) – more than double the 14,676 apprentices registered when ITA was created in 2004.
- B.C. is expecting up to one million job openings by 2025 due to retirements and economic growth.
- Eight of every 10 of these job openings will require post-secondary education or trades training.
Industry Training Authority: http://www.itabc.ca/
B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint : https://www.workbc.ca/Training-Education/B-C-s-Skills-for-Jobs-Blueprint.aspx
B.C. Labour Market Outlook: https://www.workbc.ca/Labour-Market-Industry/B-C-s-Economy/Reports.aspx
ITA innovation profiles in B.C.: http://www.itabc.ca/innovation-trades