Introduction of training models that break down barriers to accessing trades training by bringing training opportunities to apprentices in remote areas across BC.
• Northwest Community College (NWCC) and Kitimat Valley Institute have partnered to deliver Construction Craft Worker training in Terrace, thanks to ITA funding. Construction and Specialized Workers’ Union members coming off Rio Tinto’s Kitimat Modernization Project are expected to benefit from this training, as substantial demand for Construction Craft Workers is projected by industry.
• Northwest Community College (NWCC) has a 30-foot self-contained teaching unit, hauled by a pickup truck, which allows for Foundation-level Heavy Equipment Operator training in remote areas of Northwest BC. The mobile unit, a simulator housed in the back of a large trailer, provides a safe and reliable environment for training while reducing wear and tear on regular machinery by students who haven’t previously used heavy equipment. NWCC funds the operating costs for the unit through a combination of block funding, ITA funding, contract training and student tuition. NWCC feels that the benefits of supporting remote communities in their region are worth the high costs, and are seeking to add to their successful mobile training unit.
Increase the availability of resources through innovative partnerships between institutions, training providers, industry, employers, charities and communities.
• Two very different BC secondary schools – one in Houston with small and declining enrolment, and one in Smithers with a large student population – are 80.5 km apart. The school in Houston had available space to accommodate training; however, the larger student population was located in Smithers. Officials from School District 54 and Northwest Community College (NWCC) met with regional industry representatives to discuss the possibility of delivering training in Houston for Smithers students. In partnership, School District 54, NWCC, Monster Industries and Canfor, revamped the closed-down auto shop at Houston Secondary School into a great teaching space for Millwrights. The new shop has brand-new lathes, welding tables and a CNC milling machine.
In 2014–15, ITA and government collected almost 100 examples of innovative practices already in use in the BC trades training system, all of which help to improve trades training outcomes. There is substantive work underway in all regions of the province to improve trades training outcomes in the areas of partnerships, regional access, flexible delivery, and student supports. Below are a few examples of these innovative practices taking place in Northwest BC. You can read this region's innovation inventory report here.