The B.C. government announced today that North Island College will receive $86,000 for an innovation pilot that will improve training outcomes and employability for apprentices.
The goal of the North Island College (NIC) innovation pilot is to remove barriers to employment for students who graduate from NIC’s foundation programs.
The pilot at NIC focuses on the integration of employability skills, workplace mentorship and formal work experience for all foundation students in the electrical, heavy mechanical, welding, metal fabrication and carpentry programs.
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.
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.
Don McRae, MLA for Comox Valley –
“Innovation pilots at North Island College and other B.C. schools will be extremely valuable as we search for new and effective ways to deliver trades training to British Columbians. The world is changing, so it is essential that we change with it by constantly bringing new ideas and creative methods for preparing our trades students and apprentices for the workforce.”
Gary Herman, CEO, Industry Training Authority –
“Our goal is to provide world-class apprenticeships for British Columbians and the innovation pilots put 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.”
Cheryl O’Connell, dean of trades and technology, North Island College –
“This is an opportunity for trades students to strengthen career outcomes as they build their professional reputation and establish working relationships with employers and potential sponsors. For employers, it’s an opportunity to meet prospective employees and be instrumental to their trades education.”
- 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: http://www.itabc.ca/innovation-trades