Employer Interviews

Check out the useful advice and tips that these employers have to offer those looking to start an apprenticeship or hire an apprentice!

United Rentals - Terrace
Kory McKay, Branch Manager


ITA CEO, Gary, and Apprentice Advisor, Crystal, presents a Certificate of Recognition to Kory McKay and tradespeople of United Rentals

Q: When did you start sponsoring apprentices? How many apprentices have you sponsored over the years?
A: June 2013, 7 employees.

Q: Why do you sponsor apprentices?
A: Without them we cannot run our business. As good as our team is on the counters, sales, management etc, none of it can happen without the techs in the shop. They are the key piece of the puzzle and we need to encourage and support them the best way possible. 

Q: What is your most memorable apprentice success story?
A: We hired a summer student in June of 2014 and he relocated to Terrace on a 3 month program. Once he arrived here, he fell in love with the community and his co-workers. When his 3 months were up, we created a position for him to keep him here.  He now lives here permanently with his fiancé and a newborn baby. We are very proud of him for having this ambition and taking the risk to relocate his young family across the country at only 19 years old. 

Q: If you have one piece of advice for someone looking to start an apprenticeship, what would it be?
A: Be honest , open minded and willing to learn. Make sure you find a role model to learn from and keep a healthy relationship with that person. Always take advantage of any type of training from vendors. 

Q: Any advice for employers looking to start sponsoring apprentices?

A: Plan as far ahead as possible. Always look for potential candidates and create a good work place for them and their families.

Horizon North Manufacturing
Simarjit Bains, Manufacturing Manager


ITA CEO presents a Certificate of Recognition to Simarjit Bains and tradespeople of Horizon North Manufacturing

Q: Do you sponsor apprentices and if so, how many?
A: Yes, we currently employ 112 apprentices in Carpentry, Plumbing and Electrical. In addition, 7% of our workers are female.

Q: Your apprenticeship program is very successful, what contributes to that success?
A: We have a sponsorship program where we indenture apprentices in Carpentry, Plumbing, and Electrical and pay for their tuition and their registration fee.  While they are at school we continue to keep them on our Benefit program.  In return, we ask the employees sign an agreement to stay with us for a year after they have done school.  We believe this Home Grown approach helps us retain these skilled workers, and lets us work with them in getting their hours and working towards their Red Seal.

Q: If you were to put yourself in the shoes of someone looking to start an apprenticeship, what would you do to make yourself standout?
A: Talk to the people that are currently in the trade you are interested and ask questions on what to expect in that job. Research companies that you would like to work with, and see if it is a good fit for you.  Attend career fairs, and network as much as you can.  Make a goal for yourself of when you will complete your ticket and stick with it!

Q: What message would you like to send out to other employers about starting their own apprenticeship programs?
A: On the job experience is needed for any worker, and if you are in a position where you are trying to make sure that you have a skilled workforce available in the future, you need to start investing today.  Having your own apprenticeship program will help your company attract and retain these skilled workers.

CSC Electric Ltd.
Clayton Scott, Owner


ITA CEO presents a Certificate of Recognition to Clayton Scott

Q: Do you sponsor apprentices and if so, how many?
A: Yes, we currently sponsor anywhere between 16 and 50 depending on the work load.

Q: How do apprentices add value to your business?
A: They bring fresh ideas that help to evolve my business and are full of energy with an attitude to learn. The quality of work goes up when you train the guys properly and they become more loyal to my company as well.

Q: What is one of the proudest moments of sponsoring an apprentice for you?
A: When they receive their red seals! One in particular studied very hard for his Red Seal exam but failed the first time; we helped him out and he really worked at it so he was able to pass on his 2nd try and get his Red Seal.

Q: If you have one piece of advice for someone looking to start an apprenticeship, what would it be?
A: When you are looking for a job, show up to the worksite in person and be persistent. When you don't have much experience foundation programs are key. We specifically look for fresh apprentices who have completed the foundation program.

Q Any advice for an employer looking to start sponsoring apprentices?
A: Do it! Keep the trades going!

Kamloops Ford Lincoln
Mike Slywka, Shope Foreman


ITA CEO Gary Herman presents Mike Slywka and Dylan Hagerman of Kamloops Ford Lincoln with a Certificate of Recognition

Q: Do you sponsor apprentices and if so, how many?
A: Yes, we currently sponsor 4 apprentices all in the Automotive Service Technician trade.

Q: Where did your career start and how did you get to where you are now?
A: I started out at Cariboo College in the Computer Automotive Systems Technician program. I worked at a performance shop and earned my Red Seal there. Now I've worked my way up here at Kamloops Ford Lincoln for the last 20 years.

Q: What drives you to sponsor apprentices?
A: The need for new and talented employees. Apprentices are great because they are here to learn and they love to improve their work. We really need them in the long run to replace the turnover from retirement.

Q: If you have one piece of advice for someone looking to start an apprenticeship, what would it be?
A: It takes a lot of work, but stick with it. It pays off in the end!

Q Any advice for an employer looking to start sponsoring apprentices?
A: Some key things that are overlooked are your hiring practices and work environment. Don't forget to create a work environment where apprentices can grow and learn properly.

Unit Electrical Engineering Ltd.
Mark Burleigh, President & CEO


MLA Linda Larson, Minister Bond and ITA Interim CEO Gary Herman present Mark with an Employer Sponsor Recognition certificate.

Q: Do you sponsor apprentices and if so, how many?
A: Yes, we currently sponsor 8 apprentices. 2 Welders, 5 Electricians and 1 Machinist apprentice.

Q: What made you want to start sponsoring apprentices?
A: My career started as an apprentice and I was offered a great opportunity for a career, I want to give that back to the next generation. It is not only a great opportunity to grow your employees but to grow as a company as well.

Q: How do apprentices benefit your business?
A: They are advertising for our business, they show the quality of our products and employees. If an apprentice goes to work on site or for another company, their high standard of work shows and promotes the quality of our company.

Q: What is your favourite part of sponsoring apprentices?
A: I like to see people come into our workplace and learn and grow as an employee. There is a lot of pride in providing career opportunities to apprentices.

Q: If you have one piece of advice for someone looking to start an apprenticeship, what would it be?
A: I would tell them to finish it all the way through. Don't stop at level 1 or 2, finish your apprenticeship and get your ticket. When you look down the road the ticket just gives you so many more opportunities and career choices. My ticket still helps me today in my career, stick with it!

Q Any advice for an employer looking to start sponsoring apprentices?
A: Take it as an opportunity to take a person from scratch and mold them into a great employee that understands your business. Position them for success, because if you do that it will benefit you greatly.

Penticton Fabricating
Brad Harder, Red Seal Metal Fabricator and Welder Level C


Minister Bond and ITA Interim CEO Gary Herman present Brad with an Employer Sponsor Recognition certificate.

Q: What does Penticton Fabricating make?
A: We fabricate specialty brackets for alternative fuel companies, build frames and chassis for trailers and steel erector bracketry.

Q: Do you sponsor apprentices and if so, how many?
A: Yes, we currently sponsor 7 apprentices. We have 4 Metal Fabricators and 3 Welders.

Q: Why do you sponsor apprentices?
A: It is always difficult to find the right skilled people for our business. We needed to start training employees in house and the best way to do that was through an apprenticeship.

Q: Tell me about one of your apprentices and how they have progressed.
A: I have one apprentice who has gone through Levels C & B of Welding and is now working on his A and at the same time he is working on his Metal Fabricator apprenticeship. He isn't even 30 years old yet and he will have completed two Red Seals in 6 years. 

Q: If you have one piece of advice for someone looking to start an apprenticeship, what would it be?
A: Show up on time and be willing to learn!

Q Any advice for an employer looking to start sponsoring apprentices?
A: If you have employees that are willing to start an apprenticeship, get them on board as soon as possible. They won't wait around for you, they want to get their careers started. The work you put into them will benefit your business with a great employee who is willing to learn new things.

Greyback Construction
Matt Kenyon, General Manager


Minister Bond and ITA Interim CEO Gary Herman present Matt with an Employer Sponsor Recognition certificate.

Q: What has Greyback Construction built?
A: We have constructed lots of building in the Penticton area, including hotels, wineries and homes.

Q: Do you sponsor apprentices and if so, how many?
A: Yes, we have about 25 apprentices at any given time. The majority are Carpenters with one or two Crane apprentices.

Q: How do apprentices help your business?
A: Apprentices make for great employees as they are eager to learn and have a lot of pride in their work. They are flexible and open to learn new things. The best part is it lets us create retention and loyalty which in turn lets us hire great people internally. 

Q: If you have one piece of advice for someone looking to start an apprenticeship, what would it be?
A: Take the time to learn properly, don't rush it. Focus on the quality of your learning and who you are learning from.

Q Any advice for an employer looking to start sponsoring apprentices?
A: It is an opportunity to cut down on your costs as apprentice wages are lower than your journeypersons'. It is an opportunity to see what an employee's work ethic and abilities are like before you move them up in the organization.

Mumford's Beerhouse & Grill
Randy Chalifoux, Red Seal Chef


Randy demonstartes flambe to apprentices Edna Tait and Tell White.

Q: Do you sponsor apprentices and if so, how many?
A: Yes, I currently sponsor 11 Professional Cook apprentices and have an additional Red Seal certified Cook on staff.

Q: What drives you to sponsor apprentices?
A: I want to get more people into the trade that I love, especially youth. I see young Cook apprentices with great passion for the trade and I want to help cultivate their skills and give them the tools they need to succeed.

Q: How do apprentices benefit your business?
A: There are many reasons apprentices help my business. They are extremely motivated to come to work everyday and learn new things because they have an end goal in sight and can work towards it, the Red Seal. They are willing to take initiative and if they see something that I do that they can improve upon, I encourage them to show me. Another great thing about offering apprenticeships is that I don't have to put out job ads and search for employees. They come to my business looking for work because they know they could have an opportunity to start and apprenticeship here.

Q: What is your favourite part of sponsoring apprentices?
A: Teaching them.

Q: If you have one piece of advice for someone looking to start an apprenticeship, what would it be?
A: If you are passionate about your trade, just listen and ask as many questions as possible. Don't be afraid to pick the brain of your journeyperson!

Q Any advice for an employer looking to start sponsoring apprentices?
A: Have patience. It might initially cost you more to hire one, but the benefits in the long run definitely outweigh that.

Kalum Tire
Brutus McCarron, Red Seal Automotive Service Technician


Minister Bond and Interim CEO Gary Herman present Brutus with the Employer Sponsor Recognition certificate.

Q: Do you sponsor apprentices and if so, how many?
A: Yes, I currently sponsor one Automotive Service Technician apprentice and I am in the process of signing up a Partsperson apprentice.

Q: What drives you to sponsor apprentices?
A: You get to see an employee grow and start their careers. 

Q: How do apprentices benefit your business?
A: They can learn new techniques or what new equipment is out there that can benefit my business. They take more pride in their work and they love being here.

Q: What is your favourite part of sponsoring apprentices?
A: Teaching the craft, keeping the trade alive and giving someone the confidence to succeed.

Q: If you have one piece of advice for someone looking to start an apprenticeship, what would it be?
A: Work hard, show up on time and do everything that needs to be done. Don't be too "good" to do something, if the shop needs to be cleaned up, clean it up!

Q Any advice for an employer looking to start sponsoring apprentices?
A: Apprentices have a reason to stick around, they aren't just workers, they are great long term employees. Take the initiative and teach them everything you know.