Partnership launches major trades-training initiative in Prince Rupert
~By Quinn Bender
School District No. 52 and Northwest Community College have signed an agreement with Ridley Terminals Inc. (RTI) to offer two new trades programs, for the purpose of keeping young job seekers at home where their skills are needed.
The five-year Coastal Pathways Partnership will offer a millwright foundations program and industrial electrical foundations program to senior high school students in the next school year. Northwest Community College will provide instructors, with the School District donating classroom space and workshops.
An investment of $350,000 will go toward training-equipment costs, to which RTI has committed $150,000 in matching funds, and has sent out letters to other industry players for contributions.
Ridley Terminals led the founding of the partnership after assessing that 45 per cent of its workforce will retire in the next 15 years, when the region is expected to experience unprecedented growth.
"The number of resumes that are coming for our skilled jobs are decreasing and decreasing every year," said Michelle Bryant, RTI's corporate afffairs manager.
"These two [trades] were chosen because of the lack of experienced skilled millwrights and electricians in the area. Hopefully, as demand grows, as capital grows, we can handle the heavy duty mechanic [training] as well."