Deliver technical training through flexible scheduling and use of innovative tools to attract apprentices and encourage program completion.
• The BC Wall and Ceiling Association delivers technical training for Wall and Ceiling Installer. Instruction is delivered on Thursday evenings and all day Fridays and Saturdays (20 hours/ week). Apprentices can continue to work part-time or full-time while attending school. Technical training is delivered in Surrey at the BC Wall and Ceiling Association office and regionally through partnerships with training providers in the Greater Victoria area.
• White Spot selects a cohort of apprentices to take Professional Cook 1, 2 and 3 technical training one day per week over 25 weeks at Vancouver Community College while continuing to work full- time. There is no reduction in training time.
• Vancouver Community College’s Automotive Service Technician program is delivered through three months of online training and one week in class. These flexible learning offerings give apprentices more options, allowing them to complete their training sooner and avoid having to take as much time off work.
• Vancouver Community College’s Auto Collision and Baking instructors use social media and electronic tools for teaching. This makes better use of off-campus time and focuses face-toface instruction on hands-on activities. Instructors use the “flipped classroom” model, directing students to first watch videos and do simple exercises on their own, and then come to school the next day and use those exercises while doing the hands-on work. Students also blog about their reflective writing, portfolio and capstone research project, although blogging has proven to be a challenging technology for some to adopt.
• BC Hydro uses a 3-D applications tool to allow Power Line Technician apprentices to build, test, troubleshoot and simulate actual work on reclosers, voltage regulators and transformers. Apprentices can build transformer banks on a safe virtual distribution line, communicate set-ups and builds to an instructor for feedback, and practice complex work procedures using the 3-D simulation in the classroom, prior to the practical application of the skills in the training line yard.
• At the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), 3-D applications allow a mechanical system or object to be viewed from, and rotated in, all directions. While these applications have been used in machining and manufacturing trades for some time, they are now also being used to train tradespeople on complex mechanical systems. BCIT uses 3-D applications for Aircraft Maintenance training, Carpentry trades training and other technical training.
• Nicola Valley Institute of Technology’s mobile unit, consists of two 53-foot custom-built long-box trailer hauled by two semi-trucks. The unit provides 1,100 square feet of training space and enough room for 12 teaching stations. The mobile unit is used to provide Introductory Bridging to Trades training for electrical, plumbing/pipefitting, machinist/millwright and welding programs, exclusively to First Nations communities throughout the province.
Offer programs to apprentices that build upon essential skills and cultural knowledge to support employment success and retention.
• Aboriginal Community Employment Services Society (ACCESS) offers a range of Essential Skills programs to support employment success and retention. The Employer Partner program is an eight-week program that builds targeted foundational workplace Essential Skills identified for specific employment positions. Learners engage in a guided program where they identify their skill gaps and work on essential skills activities to elevate competency and support their training and/or employment goals. A four-to eight-week Essential Skills upgrading focus is also built into their Metal Fabrication, Machinist, Electrical, Piping, Transportation and Welding Foundation programs.
• The Piping Opportunities for Women program is offered by the UA Piping Industry College of BC (UAPIC) to assist women wishing to pursue a career in the piping trades. This six-week program offers opportunities for women with minimal or no experience in piping to explore options available such as Plumbing, Steamfitting, Sprinkler Fitting and Welding. Program participants have the option to proceed with Foundation training or to access specialized Welding training through UAPIC. Supports provided are determined through an assessment process, based on the needs of an applicant, and could include free tuition, daycare subsidies, subsidized lunches/ meals, safety boots and coveralls, monthly gym memberships, and math tutoring.
Increase the availability of resources through innovative partnerships between institutions, training providers, industry, employers, charities and communities.
• School District 37 and the Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC) delivered Heavy Equipment Operator training for School District 37 on a Lafarge work site, using equipment from Inland Kenworth.
• For the mechanical and equipment module of their Level 1 & 2 Horticulture program, School District 41 rents machinery from industry partners West Coast Lawns and Able Tool Rentals. The equipment is delivered to the training site and then picked up after the module. Community & Continuing Education Services is pursuing a partnership with their School District to use District grounds maintenance equipment instead.
• A new 142,000-square-foot Motive Power Centre of Excellence on Annacis Island replaced smaller outdated facilities at Vancouver Community College and BCIT. The two schools share common space, including labs/ classrooms, work areas, locker rooms, and shop space. Heavy Duty Equipment Technicians, Transport Trailer Technicians, Diesel and Commercial Transport Mechanics, Railway Conductors and Forklift Operators will all be trained at the new centre.
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 Lower Mainland and Southwest BC. You can read this region's innovation inventory report here.