Skilled trades students in the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows 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 training equipment.
School District No. 42 is receiving $115,619 over the next three years to purchase equipment including convection ovens, table saws and routers.
“This investment in trades equipment for students in School District 42 will help them make a smoother transition to great careers in the skilled trades,” said Doug Bing, MLA for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows.
“Young people are the future workforce of our province and we want them to be at the front of the line for the almost one million job opportunities opening in B.C. by 2025.”
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).
Fifty-nine B.C. school districts are receiving youth trades capital funding over the next three years.
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 per cent takes place in the class.
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.