Youth trades programs receiving $9-million equipment funding boost
April 5, 2017 by On-Site Magazine
Skilled trades students in B.C.’s rural regions will benefit from the majority of funding from a three-year, $15-million investment by the provincial government with the purchase of new trades training equipment to support youth trades programs.
The Youth Trades Capital Equipment Program enables school districts to replace or upgrade equipment for their schools’ trades programs. The program will see $7.5 million dispersed during the current school year to 59 school districts throughout British Columbia. The remaining $7.5 million will be distributed in the 2017-18 ($4 million) and 2018-19 ($3.5 million) school years.
Over the three-year program, more than $9 million of the total $15-million fund will be distributed to B.C.’s 42 rural school districts.
“These significant upgrades to trades-training equipment in our rural school districts are a reflection of the importance we place on students and families who live outside our big cities. This forward-looking program will encourage more young people to consider a career in the skilled trades close to home and help create conditions that support job growth and economic expansion in our rural communities,” said Donna Barnett, Minister of State for Rural Economic Development.
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.
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 per cent 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.
- Eight of every 10 of these job openings will require post-secondary education or trades training.