YES 2 IT events allow students to test-drive trades
Economy, Education Wednesday, February 20, 2013 10:00 AM

VICTORIA - From welding and carpentry, to pipefitting, heavy-duty equipment operation and a host of other trades, students in grades 5 to 10 are getting a unique opportunity to test-drive future careers in skilled trades in communities throughout B.C. in the weeks ahead.

Why It Matters:

It's all part of YES 2 IT (Youth Exploring Skills to Industry Training), a community-based, highly interactive program that gives young students in B.C. a chance to experience skilled trades and make connections with tradespersons in their communities. By introducing them to trades at an early age, it's anticipated that more students will pursue trades training in their senior grades as they work towards graduation.

The specific programs vary from community to community. For example, at an event in Princeton, Grade 7 students were brought together to work with a journeyman carpenter to learn about constructing benches, stands and planter soil boxes to be used in a greenhouse. In North Vancouver, a YES 2 IT Career & Trades Exploration Fair brought grades 8 and 9 students together with trades people for an engaging, hands-on exploration of trades ranging from automotive repair and carpentry to culinary arts and landscape design.

YES 2 IT is sponsored by the Industry Training Authority (ITA) and participating school districts. In 2012-13, ITA is providing $40,000 to B.C. school districts to put toward YES 2 IT projects that increase youth awareness of the trades, and $150,000 for First Hand programs at Skills Canada BC regional competitions.

This year, YES 2 IT programs will have thousands of students and parents participating in skills activities. Since 2006, the government has provided ITA with approximately $1 million to provide youth with an opportunity to learn more about the trades and inspire them to consider a career in the trades.

Government is actively creating awareness and encouraging young people to consider careers in the trades through programs like YES 2 IT.

The program is supported by the BC Jobs Plan and the BC Skills and Training Plan, which invests $75 million for new capital and equipment to complement $500 million in annual investments in skills and trades training programs.


Don McRae, Minister of Education -

"From an early age, it's important that students get a chance explore the many trade opportunities B.C. has to offer."

"YES 2 IT is an exciting way to raise the profile of trades among young people and has the potential to capture their interest, keep them in school and open up a whole new world of career choices and pathways.

Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour -

"The need to increase trades awareness in younger grades was a strong message that government heard during our recent Skills for BC Online Discussion with British Columbians."

"YES 2 IT events are just one of the ways we are working to raise that awareness and get more young people excited about future trades careers."

Kevin Evans, CEO, Industry Training Authority -

"Many students simply aren't aware of the many opportunities in the skilled trades that speak to their interests and potential and provide a career where you get paid to do what you're passionate about."

"Our YES 2 IT program is a hands-on way for students at a young age to kick the tires and check out a wide variety of trades and career pathways."

Quick Facts:

  • Over the next decade, there will be more than one million job openings in British Columbia, of which about 430,000 (43 per cent) are expected to be trades or technical occupations.
  • This year, more than 2,000 secondary school students are participating in Accelerated Credit Enrollment in Industry Training ACE-IT) and Secondary School Apprenticeship (SSA trades training programs) in B.C.
  • More than 40,000 B.C. secondary students are also participating in school-based Applied Skills training, including work experience.

Learn More:

BC Skills and Training Plan:

Yes 2 IT:

BC Jobs Plan:

BC's Education Plan:

Skills4BC Online Discussion:

ACE-IT and SSA trades training programs:

A backgrounder follows.

Media Contacts:

Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Education
250 356-5963

Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour
250 387-2799

Susan Kirk
Industry Training Authority
778 785-2410


Test-drive trades at upcoming YES 2 IT events in B.C.

Feb. 19-20: School District 27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin) - Williams Lake:

  • School District 27 is partnering with Thompson Rivers University to provide an opportunity for Grade 7 students to gain basic safety skills and participate in hands-on activities in the following five trades:
  • Carpentry: build a small tool box.
  • Welding: fabricate boot scrapers.
  • Electrical: fabricate industrial extension cords for block heaters.
  • Automotive service technician/heavy duty mechanic: demonstration of working with mill equipment by trades people.
  • Millwright: demonstration of working pulleys, gears, speed reduction, mechanical advantage.

Feb. 20-March 27: School District 61 (Greater Victoria) - Victoria:

  • Victoria High School - Grade 8 students will participate in a three-day trades exploration event to gain exposure to eight trades, including:
  • Sheet metal, auto body and joinery to produce a tool box.
  • Carpentry to construct a dog house.
  • Electrical, welding auto mechanic and cosmetology.
  • Representatives from Vancouver Island Construction Association (VICA) will answer trades-related questions about work experiences and parents will be invited to view the final projects.

Feb. 26-March 1: School District 54 (Bulkley Valley) - Houston and Smithers:

  • Houston Secondary and Smithers Secondary - Students in grades 8 and 9 will pick their chosen activity, and parents will help with activities. They will use current students and past grads to promote trades programs and teachers will be on hand to facilitate and support the process.
  • Students will be given the opportunity to explore five trades and complete projects in the following areas:
  • Electrical: build a homemade battery in a group setting with the help of an ACE-IT mentor.
  • Culinary Arts: create a food dish with the help of students that completed their ACE-IT Professional Cook 1 program.
  • Carpentry: timed carpentry skill contest.
  • Horticulture: separate and transplant seedlings into seedling trays with the help of a local employer and instructors.
  • Hairdressing: learn basic hair-design concepts.

Feb. 28-March 1: School District 39 (Vancouver) - Vancouver:

  • Van Technical Secondary school and Killarney Secondary school will run two events designed to give students in grades 9 and 10 experience and exposure to hairdressing, carpentry, automotive and metal work.
  • Parental involvement will be encouraged through interactive activities regarding trade facts and statistics.

March 13-15: School District 82 (Coast Mountains) - Terrace:

  • Caledonia Secondary school - students in grades 7 to 9 and their parents will visit Northwest Community College to tour the facilities and learn about trades programs offered at the college.
  • Students will have the opportunity to explore five trades and create projects, including:
  • Electrical: create a circuit board.
  • Carpentry: create a woodworking project.
  • Metal fabricating and machinery: create parts for the other projects.

March 27: School District 70 (Alberni) - Port Alberni:

  • Alberni District Secondary school - 1,600+ students in grades 5 to 12 from eight schools will visit for hands-on try-it trades opportunities at various trades information booths.
  • Students will have an opportunity to try trades-related activities in automotive, carpentry, cabinetry, culinary arts and hairdressing.
  • The event also includes presentations to Parent Advisory Councils.

Media Contacts:

Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Education
250 356-5963

Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour
250 387-2799

Susan Kirk
Industry Training Authority
778 785-2410

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