The Prince Rupert School District (SD52) was the recipient of $20,000 from the Ministry of Education in November.
The money will go toward the Youth Work in Trades program – a dual credit program for Grades 10, 11 and 12 students looking to begin their apprenticeship journey with area employers.
The students in the program even earn a paycheque while working toward their credit in high school and completing a portion of their trades training through apprenticeships.
The program is a couple years old, said SD52 secretary treasurer Cam McIntyre in late November.
“It started with the ministry and they called it the Shoulder Tapper program and we have [district careers coordinator] Sebastien Paquet. He’s our shoulder tapper guy and his role is to help improve the links between students in middle school and high school and employers and employment opportunities,” said McIntyre.
“So part of the money has been used in the past to help students buy the safety equipment they’ve needed to be on the job site and part of it has gone toward a little bit of travel costs, here and there, that was needed to just do tours sometimes to get students out to employer worksites, so they can actually see what the worksite looks like,” he added.
The funds help students transition from technical training to work-based training and build awareness for trades opportunities in the community.
The ministry’s budget for 2016 allocates $7.8 million to the Industry Training Authority for its youth program expansion, which allows it to expand its trades training programs to 18 more school districts for 2016-17, with 45 in total.
“Young people are the future workforce of our province and we want them to be at the front of the line for the almost one million job opportunities open by 2025. That’s why we are making investments in youth apprenticeship training programs throughout B.C. – which will give students earlier opportunities to learn about the trades,” said Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training.
The Coast Mountains and Bulkley Valley School Districts also received $20,000 each for their program from the ministry.