Meet Your Advisor: Kyle Preston

Kyle Preston says a trade is not the endgame - it’s a stepping stone to many other opportunities. Keep your eyes open, speak to people in the trades, and gain work experience.

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 Kyle Preston, Apprenticeship Advisor for South Vancouver Island.

What is your trades background/experience?

I’m a professional cook with Red Seal Endorsement - my culinary adventure began in a kitchen on a work experience program, which lead to a youth apprenticeship. This put me on a pathway to achieving trade certification, eventually working in restaurants, hotels, and resorts. Over time, I found my real interest was mentoring and training new talent, which led me out of the kitchen and back into the classroom and eventually into Industry Training Authority.

How long have you been with ITA?

Five years.

What do you enjoy most about working at ITA? 

Connecting and supporting partners in the apprenticeship offers endless variety. It’s important to me to be paying it forward and paying it back by supporting apprentices, employer/sponsors, training providers, associations/industry, etc. I’m confronted almost daily by the adage “the more you know, the more you know you don't know”. To support my clients and my own growth, updating my knowledge and skills, helping under-represented groups, labour market, training programs, assessment tools, financial supports, career/life counselling all appeals to my love of lifelong learning.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

Spending time with my family, home and garden improvements, exploring and supporting community events. You’re never too old to learn so I recently began taking Ukulele lessons. 

What would you like people to know about the trades?

A trade is not the endgame; it’s a stepping stone to so many further opportunities. Many post-secondaries are crediting a Red Seal with two years towards a four-year degree.

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

Go into it with eyes wide open; gain work experience through general labour or ‘Try a Trade’ programs. Speak to people in the trade. Review the trade’s program outline (on the ITA website). Connect with industry association groups. Review WorkBC Labour Market Data.

If you have questions about apprenticeship on South Vancouver Island, email Kyle Preston

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!