Meet Your Advisor: Donna Henderson

Donna Henderson says the trades are important careers because every moment of our lives is touched by a tradesperson.

Apprenticeship Advisors provide regional support to apprentices and employer sponsors. They help build knowledge and awareness of the B.C. apprenticeship system and provide guidance to apprentices and sponsors on processes and policies related to the apprenticeship journey and challenger pathway.

Here's a Q&A with Donna Henderson, Apprenticeship Advisor for Langley and Aldergrove.

What is your trades background/experience?

I completed a hairdressing program (not apprenticeship) right out of high school. I worked in the industry for a few years before returning to school to study. 

My husband is a tradesperson, as are all members of his family. My trades background truly stems from listening to them speak about the work they do/have done. I found it very interesting to hear about jobs and projects, bridges being built, pulp mill operations, that I grew to understand how tangible and interesting this line of work is. Our daughter completed the ITA Youth Train in Trades program in grade 12, giving me additional exposure to the apprenticeship system. 

Then, as a career development practitioner I actively promoted trades careers to those in career exploration.

How long have you been with ITA? 

I’ve been with ITA since December 2014.

What do you enjoy most about working at ITA? 

I really enjoy helping people and sharing information—that is my passion. Together with the fact that the team at ITA are all so helpful and passionate about the trades makes this job the best job I’ve ever had. The leadership team is open and communicative, and we all seem to be on the same page which makes for a very enjoyable role.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work? 

I love to ride my bike, spend time with my family, especially our new grandbaby, hiking, and going to the gym.

What would you like people to know about the trades? 

The trades are important career opportunities and they offer careers that can last a lifetime or lead to other roles. I always say “every moment of our life is touched by a trades person.” They offer work that is varied and interesting and very tangible—you can see what you’ve done at the end of the day and your work lasts for many, many years. Trade careers maintain our province and many of the comforts we enjoy on a daily basis. 

Careers in the trades allow you to be creative, think outside the box, offer lots of variety, ongoing learning, many have a physical component to them, allow you to use your brain your heart and your hands, are rewarding, and pay well.

What advice would you give to people interested in becoming an apprentice? 

Explore all the career opportunities on the ITA website. There are lots of videos that show a day in the life of a tradesperson in various careers. Talk to others in the trades you’re interested in and get a plan, then just do it. We need tradespeople.

If you have questions about apprenticeship in Langley or Aldergrove, email Donna Henderson.

Need help with your apprenticeship?

Do you know an apprentice or employer champion?

The Champions of Apprenticeship are recognized for their outstanding achievements in BC apprenticeship system. These Champions are celebrated for their hard work in creating certified tradesworkers, supporting their industry and promoting apprenticeship. Do you know an outstanding employer sponsor or apprentice? Send us an email and nominate them to become a Champion of Apprenticeship!