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Volume 4 | Issue 2 | Fall 2017

Minister's Message

Hon. Melanie Mark, Minister for Advanced Education and Skills Training

During my first few weeks on the job as Minister, I had the opportunity to witness trades training in action during my tour of BC’s public post-secondary institutions. A highlight of each visit was hearing from students about the transformative impact education and training has had on their lives.

I also became a big supporter of the ITA. I got to meet Gary Herman, CEO, Industry Training Authority, when I announced additional high demand trades seats at Okanagan College and the College of the Rockies. ITA is instrumental in improving accessibility to trades training,

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During my first few weeks on the job as Minister, I had the opportunity to witness trades training in action during my tour of BC’s public post-secondary institutions. A highlight of each visit was hearing from students about the transformative impact education and training has had on their lives.

I also became a big supporter of the ITA. I got to meet Gary Herman, CEO, Industry Training Authority, when I announced additional high demand trades seats at Okanagan College and the College of the Rockies. ITA is instrumental in improving accessibility to trades training, keeping the curriculum current, and promoting the use of technology to enhance student learning.

Just as ITA is opening the door to trades training for underrepresented learners, Premier John Horgan and I are breaking down barriers to education and training. Our government has already begun making education and skills training more affordable by eliminating fees for adult basic education, and lowering interest rates on provincial student loans. We don’t want to stand in the way of success.

The students and trades people I met are the innovators and builders who touch every part of our lives, from building our homes and fixing our cars to supporting clean technology. Our province needs a highly-skilled trades sector so that every British Columbian can be part of a strong, sustainable and innovative economy.

Our government will continue to work with post-secondary institutions and ITA to help students grow and succeed.

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CEO Message

Just about everywhere we go and everything we see requires the handy craftsmanship of a tradesperson: the tunnel you drove through on your way to work, the engine in your car, the meal you ate at that restaurant last night and even your new haircut.

This is an exciting time to be in the skilled trades in British Columbia. Now, more than ever, the trades are growing in such a way that you are bound to see them in places you wouldn’t expect—the film industry being just one example. Our budding film industry in BC (or Hollywood North, as it is often referred) has added

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Just about everywhere we go and everything we see requires the handy craftsmanship of a tradesperson: the tunnel you drove through on your way to work, the engine in your car, the meal you ate at that restaurant last night and even your new haircut.

This is an exciting time to be in the skilled trades in British Columbia. Now, more than ever, the trades are growing in such a way that you are bound to see them in places you wouldn’t expect—the film industry being just one example. Our budding film industry in BC (or Hollywood North, as it is often referred) has added to job creation across the province, including jobs in the trades. Who do you think builds the sets we see on screen? Carpenters and Welders. Who do you think sets up the lighting? Electricians, of course.

The trades are not only growing, but evolving to keep up with the growth—and ITA is at the forefront of the evolution to make trades training work better for British Columbians. From innovative pilot projects across our province to 3D trades technology, we are changing the way we do things to ensure we have the right workers with the right skills in line to support the trades however they need, and wherever they go today and tomorrow.

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Employer Profile

3D technology creates picture perfect training environment for apprentices

Out with the old and in with the new. Thanks to the introduction of Virtual Reality (VR) technology at Pitt Meadows Plumbing, jobs that were once completed with technical drawings can now be finished in record time using VR, giving plumbing apprentices a step ahead in their training and the workplace.

The special lenses used in VR eliminate the need to go back and forth between drawings and schematic files, saving employees valuable time on the job-site, while giving apprentices a taste for the latest and greatest in industry advancements.

“At Pitt

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3D technology creates picture perfect training environment for apprentices

Out with the old and in with the new. Thanks to the introduction of Virtual Reality (VR) technology at Pitt Meadows Plumbing, jobs that were once completed with technical drawings can now be finished in record time using VR, giving plumbing apprentices a step ahead in their training and the workplace.

The special lenses used in VR eliminate the need to go back and forth between drawings and schematic files, saving employees valuable time on the job-site, while giving apprentices a taste for the latest and greatest in industry advancements.

“At Pitt Meadows Plumbing, innovation is a key part of our organization,” says Steve Robinson, Owner of Pitt Meadows Plumbing. “So much of what we do now is computer-driven, which allows us to train apprentices in a way that gives us, and them, an advantage going forward.”

In the growing and evolving trades industry, it is important that companies stay ahead of the curve by adopting the latest advancements available. This will not only be important to keep businesses moving ahead and successful, but is essential to attract, train and retain the next generation of workers.

Watch this video to see the VR technology at work, and learn more about other examples of innovation in trades across BC.

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Apprentice Spotlight

Ask an apprentice: Q&A with Josh Jardine, Steamfitter apprentice

ITA interviewed Steamfitter apprentice Josh Jardine about his journey through the trades. Find out more about his experience, and how he is making progress on his career goals.

ITA Trades Talk: What is your trade, level and current employment?

Josh: I am a Level 2 Steamfitter apprentice, and I am currently working at Seaspan Vancouver Shipyards.

ITA Trades Talk: Why did you choose the trade you are in now?

Josh: I chose to pursue the Steamfitter trade because I learned through research there are lots of

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Ask an apprentice: Q&A with Josh Jardine, Steamfitter apprentice

ITA interviewed Steamfitter apprentice Josh Jardine about his journey through the trades. Find out more about his experience, and how he is making progress on his career goals.

ITA Trades Talk: What is your trade, level and current employment?

Josh: I am a Level 2 Steamfitter apprentice, and I am currently working at Seaspan Vancouver Shipyards.

ITA Trades Talk: Why did you choose the trade you are in now?

Josh: I chose to pursue the Steamfitter trade because I learned through research there are lots of different industries in BC that involve piping trades and lots of opportunities—so I was eager to get involved!

ITA Trades Talk: Since you started in your trade, have there been any innovative methods of training that stand out?

Josh: Seaspan recently teamed up with the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) to create online modules for employees to update their training. This helps to ensure everyone is up-to-speed with industry advancements.

ITA Trades Talk: What is one thing that people might not know about the trades that really stands out?

Josh: Unlike a university education, the skilled trades route allows you to earn while you learn in your trade, and the hands-on training you get with your employer sponsor compliments the courses you take at school. That alone piqued my interest and should be a strong motivator for anyone on the fence about getting involved!

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IPTT Initiatives

Collaboration with NIC to bring Trades Exploratory program to Indigenous Peoples

Apprenticeship Advisors are positioned across the province as ITA’s boots on the ground, providing regional support to apprentices and employers along their apprenticeship journey, from start to finish.

Doug Podetz, Apprenticeship Advisor, North Island, was recently involved in a regional initiative to help get more Indigenous Peoples involved in trades. The Trades Exploratory program was set up in partnership with the Nuuchahnulth Employment Training Program organization (NETP) in Port Alberni and North Island College (NIC), and was developed to encourage

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Collaboration with NIC to bring Trades Exploratory program to Indigenous Peoples

Apprenticeship Advisors are positioned across the province as ITA’s boots on the ground, providing regional support to apprentices and employers along their apprenticeship journey, from start to finish.

Doug Podetz, Apprenticeship Advisor, North Island, was recently involved in a regional initiative to help get more Indigenous Peoples involved in trades. The Trades Exploratory program was set up in partnership with the Nuuchahnulth Employment Training Program organization (NETP) in Port Alberni and North Island College (NIC), and was developed to encourage Indigenous participation in trades careers.

The four-week program is held at NIC where students have the chance to explore carpentry, plumbing, electrical and welding. There have been two intakes since August 2016, and many of the students are now registered apprentices, while others are enrolled in upgrading courses and looking at financial support options for further training.

Find out more about the Indigenous Peoples in Trades Training (IPTT)  initiative and programs available across BC to help you get your start in the trades.

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In the News

Pilot projects test innovative solutions for apprentice and employer challenges

In the spring of 2017, ITA launched five innovative pilot programs across the province to address apprentice and employer challenges associated with block-release training, and one pilot program for pre-apprentices focused on providing work readiness supports.

The five online and blended learning pilots were implemented to test alternative training delivery systems for today’s contemporary apprentice learners, to improve outcomes and introduce options beyond block-release training systems. The programs took place at Camosun College, Okanagan College, Vancouver

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Pilot projects test innovative solutions for apprentice and employer challenges

In the spring of 2017, ITA launched five innovative pilot programs across the province to address apprentice and employer challenges associated with block-release training, and one pilot program for pre-apprentices focused on providing work readiness supports.

The five online and blended learning pilots were implemented to test alternative training delivery systems for today’s contemporary apprentice learners, to improve outcomes and introduce options beyond block-release training systems. The programs took place at Camosun College, Okanagan College, Vancouver Community College, and Vancouver Island University for a variety of trades, including: pipe trades, Professional Cook, Electrician, Automotive Glass Technician and Baker.

“Using current and up-to-date technology for online delivery offers the ability to bring professional education to the workplace on an on-demand basis. Program content can easily and quickly be adapted to the needs of industry.” - Gilbert Noussitou, Chef Program Developer and Instructor/Coach, Professional Cook, Level 3

The pilot for pre-apprentices was developed by North Island College (NIC), and focused on the development of employability skills, workplace mentorship and work experience. This initiative will bring significant benefits to a variety of trades students as they transition to the work place.

“I feel better prepared — I now know how to research employer expectations, how to prepare for the interview and how to be the best team member possible.” - Student testimonial

It is important that innovation remains top-of-mind as we develop and execute trades training initiatives across BC. The measures we take now will enable more efficient, responsive skills training and a stronger skilled trades system for the future — one that fully engages modern-day apprentices and tradespeople from start to finish — to ensure our province has the right skills, in the right place to meet the demand.

Find out more about innovation in trades underway across the province.

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In the News

ITA Apprenticeship Advisors awarded for supporting Indigenous success

We are proud to announce that ITA’s very own Donna Anderson and Walter Sorokovsky, Apprenticeship Advisors for Prince George, received excellency awards from the Prince George Nechako Aboriginal Employment and Training Association (PGNAETA) on June 6, at the regional Spirit of Unity gala.

The awards recognize the incredible work that Donna and Walter have done in the Prince George Nechako Region with Indigenous communities, training providers, industry leaders and business to support Indigenous success in trades training and employment.

Find out how to

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ITA Apprenticeship Advisors awarded for supporting Indigenous success

We are proud to announce that ITA’s very own Donna Anderson and Walter Sorokovsky, Apprenticeship Advisors for Prince George, received excellency awards from the Prince George Nechako Aboriginal Employment and Training Association (PGNAETA) on June 6, at the regional Spirit of Unity gala.

The awards recognize the incredible work that Donna and Walter have done in the Prince George Nechako Region with Indigenous communities, training providers, industry leaders and business to support Indigenous success in trades training and employment.

Find out how to connect with your local Apprenticeship Advisor to map your journey through the skilled trades.

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Sector Spotlight

Hollywood North meets the skilled trades

BC isn’t called Hollywood North for no reason—you are sure to have seen film crews working all over BC on movies and TV shows we see on the big screen! But, did you know there is a large skilled trades community within BC’s film industry, working behind-the-scenes on set construction, lighting and more?

In March, North Island College (NIC) received funding to provide training to residents and Indigenous Peoples with the goal to prepare them for opportunities for employment in Vancouver Island’s booming film industry.

The short-term

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Hollywood North meets the skilled trades

BC isn’t called Hollywood North for no reason—you are sure to have seen film crews working all over BC on movies and TV shows we see on the big screen! But, did you know there is a large skilled trades community within BC’s film industry, working behind-the-scenes on set construction, lighting and more?

In March, North Island College (NIC) received funding to provide training to residents and Indigenous Peoples with the goal to prepare them for opportunities for employment in Vancouver Island’s booming film industry.

The short-term program will offer two separate courses in Port Alberni and Campbell River: one program offers specialized trades training for carpentry and electrical, and the other will train Indigenous Peoples in the art of video production.

The courses will run from fall 2017 to spring 2018, wrapping up just in time for fall students to work on production sets on Vancouver Island next year. Ready, set, action!

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Information Boxes

Make connections with the free, online Apprentice Job Match Tool

Find your perfect match using the online Apprentice Job Match Tool, which helps to better connect apprentices with employers, and employer sponsors with apprentices looking for the on-the-job training they need to boost their skills and achieve certification in their chosen trade.

Learn more about the Apprentice Job Match Tool today by signing up as a job-seeker or adding a job posting as an employer.

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Make connections with the free, online Apprentice Job Match Tool

Find your perfect match using the online Apprentice Job Match Tool, which helps to better connect apprentices with employers, and employer sponsors with apprentices looking for the on-the-job training they need to boost their skills and achieve certification in their chosen trade.

Learn more about the Apprentice Job Match Tool today by signing up as a job-seeker or adding a job posting as an employer.

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Meet B.C.'s Champions of Apprenticeship

Today's youth have an array of career options to choose from, but they also face the perception that the skilled trades are not the most desirable career choice. In order to keep our construction and other skilled labour sectors robust and growing, we must be proactive in presenting the trades as a desirable career option for our youth.

Have your say

Trades Talk strives to report on the issues and challenges that matter to you. We want to hear your solutions, best practices and success stories. We would also appreciate your feedback on Trades Talk and any suggestions you have. Email your comments to tradestalk@itabc.ca.