Tyler Winther

Tyler Winther

Charles Hays Secondary School puts the focus on trades

The Prince Rupert School District (SD52) knows trades training is vital to fill industry jobs anticipated in northern B.C.

The Prince Rupert School District (SD52) knows trades training is vital to fill industry jobs anticipated in northern B.C., and is doing what it can to link its students to them.

With assistance, SD52 provides opportunities for students to start trades training in the community, some of which were showcased at an open house at CHSS on Thursday.

“We’re all very aware of the need to provide our students with options to both discover and begin their training in trades fields while they’re still in school. Partnerships with industry and Northwest Community College go a long way in providing those options,” said Sandra Jones, superintendent of the school district.

The event marked the official opening of CHSS’ new automotive shop, with Rupertites being able to check it out, along with the school’s metal and wood shops.

Charles Hays’ metal shop housed the Coastal Pathways Partnership Millwright Foundations Program last semester, which included students from NWCC and the ACE-IT program. Coastal Pathways industry partners donated a substantial amount of equipment for the course, which CHSS teacher David Archibald said has benefitted all metal students.

“It’s been nice having the extra equipment around for the kids, and the shop layout is much more connected to having larger class sizes,” he said, adding it has expanded on the projects students can undertake.

“Having the millwright program has given kids the idea that there’s further steps to take after completing the metal shop program,” Archibald added.

Former CHSS student Tyler Winther recently completed the first level of academic millwright training, and said the shop’s equipment helped to reinforce what students were learning in their bookwork.

Students must secure apprenticeship placements to move on to the second level of academic millwright training, which have been difficult to secure.

NWCC brought its mobile trades training facility to the event, a 53-foot-long trailer that can accommodate 12-students with virtual exploratory and apprenticeship Heavy Equipment Operator training opportunities.