Skilled trades students in the Okanagan-Skaha School District will benefit from a three-year, $15-million investment by the B.C. government to support youth trades programs with the purchase of new trades training equipment.
School District 67 is receiving $290,908 over the next three years for the purchase of equipment including laser cutters, routers and air compressors.
The Youth Trades Capital Equipment Program will see $7.5 million dispersed during the current school year. The remaining $7.5 million will be distributed in 2017-18 ($4 million) and 2018-19 ($3.5 million).
Of the $7.5 million being distributed this year, more than $5 million is going to school districts in rural B.C. Over the program’s three years, more than $9 million of the $15-million total will be distributed to rural school districts.
This investment in rural communities supports the recently announced “Building on our Rural Advantages: B.C.’s Rural Economic Development Strategy”. The strategy outlines the Province’s long-term vision to ensure British Columbians in all regions have the opportunity for well-paying jobs and a high quality of life in their community.
Fifty-nine B.C. school districts are receiving youth trades capital funding over the next three years, 42 of which are in rural B.C.
The Youth Trades Capital Equipment Program is designed to:
- Increase participation and successful completion of youth trades programs and the number of students that continue on to further trades training programs;
- Ensure school districts have safe and appropriate modern trades equipment to support the delivery of trades training programs;
- Gain a better understanding of current inventory and future need for youth trades equipment in each district.
To be eligible for funding, school districts must have demonstrated that the capital investment supports the delivery of one or more Industry Training Authority (ITA) youth trades programs.
In partnership with the Ministry of Education and secondary schools, the ITA funds six youth programs in B.C. – Youth Discover the Maker Way, Youth Discover the Trades, Youth Explore Trades Skills, Youth Explore Trades Sampler, Youth Train in Trades and Youth Work in Trades.
These programs map out a clear path for youth to start their trades training earlier in high school, through post-secondary and into the workforce where they can continue an apprenticeship.
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.
Apprenticeship programs are one of the best ways for British Columbians to gain the skills and training they need to succeed in their chosen career. It is estimated 80% of training takes place on the work site and 20% takes place in the class.
The B.C. government is making record investments in modern, safe infrastructure projects throughout the province. In doing so, these construction projects are creating well-paying, family-supporting jobs. These investments are possible because of the fiscal plan of the B.C. government.
Dan Ashton, MLA for Penticton –
“Making investments in school trades equipment in the south Okanagan and throughout B.C. is essential to give students the tools necessary to make a successful transition to apprenticeships and a career in the trades. Young people represent our future and we want to prepare them for the family-supporting jobs to come.”
Gary Herman, CEO, Industry Training Authority –
“Trades careers are a great option for youth who are passionate about making a difference in the everyday lives of British Columbians. Investments in youth trades training like this one are important to ensure our students are provided with opportunities to explore different trades careers to find the one that best suits their interests.”
- ITA provides more than 100 apprenticeship training programs in B.C., including 50 Red Seal trades.
- There are currently nearly 45,000 participants in apprenticeship programs in the industry training system (apprentices, high school youth and foundation), more than double the 20,050 participants when the 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: www.workbc.ca/Labour-Market-Information/B-C-s-Economy/Reports.aspx
B.C. Rural Economic Development Strategy: https://bcjobsplan.gov.bc.ca/b-c-s-rural-economic-development-strategy/