Prince Rupert employers attended a lunch information session on Oct. 1 about the benefits of hiring apprentices.
The panel of employers, school district representatives, apprentices, and industry members took place not long after the Youth Work in Trades Program began for the school year in District 52. A $20,000 bonus from the Industry Training Authority (ITA) went toward creating a coordinator position that will help the students gain work experience.
Crystal Bouchard, the Apprentice Advisor for Northwest B.C. said the luncheon was well received. “Eighty per cent of apprenticeships is work-based training,” she said, highlighting the need for employers to provide those opportunities.
The goal of the luncheon, Bouchard said, was to assist potential employers with the training and credential system for apprenticeships. “In return, the apprentice will be a vital part in completing projects… and will be critical to success.
“We’re expecting close to a million job openings by 2022,” Bouchard said. A hundred thousand of those are anticipated to require trades skills, but Bouchard is concerned they “won’t be able to meet that demand.
“We want to ensure that rural areas have access to trades opportunities,” she said.