Youth in Trades award

School District No. 83 (North Okanagan-Shuswap) was presented a Youth Work in Trades Performance Award and local youth employer sponsors were recognized with a Certificate of Appreciation at a celebration at Prestige Harbourfront Resort in Salmon Arm on Thursday, May 2.

Board Chair Marianne VanBuskirk and District Principal Reid Findlay

The dinner and awards, sponsored by the B.C. Industry Training Authority (ITA), celebrated School District No. 83 (North Okanagan-Shuswap) for achieving the highest enrolment in the Youth Work in Trades program in its region. The award includes $5,000 in additional funding to assist the district to further develop its Youth Work in Trades program.

Youth Work in Trades is a dual credit program that allows youth to begin a paid work-based training component of a skilled trades apprenticeship while still in secondary school.

Brook Jameus

The opportunity which this type of program provides for students was clearly demonstrated by Brook Jameus, an SD83 student who is doing her hairdressing apprenticeship at PVSS and at Headlines Hair Design in Salmon Arm. Jameus talked about being an apprentice and thanked her teachers, the school district, the ITA and Headlines for helping her begin a career and gain valuable experience while still in high school.

District Principal (Career Programs) Reid Findlay commented when he first heard that SD83 was going to receive this District Performance Award, he immediately thought that this award belongs to our entire community. “This award wouldn’t be possible without our local employers taking on student apprentices, the commitment and dedication from our students in seeing the value in work-based training, and the support our Career Programs team offers to everyone to help make all of this come together.” He said for many years each SD83 secondary school has had a career centre where students and parents can connect with knowledgeable staff to learn more about the apprenticeship system and the dual credit pathways.

Local employer sponsors were also thanked and given a certificate for their outstanding work with youth apprentices. As 80 per cent of trades training takes place on the work site and 20 per cent takes place in the classroom, it is important that school districts provide students with the opportunity to gain awareness of what a career in trades looks like and get a head start on the crucial hands-on experience required for their trades training. A crucial part of this is local employers who take on and mentor the student apprentices.

Several local employers who sponsor high school youth apprentices attended the ceremony to receive thanks and certificate of appreciation!

“By opening the doors of opportunity through the Youth Work in Trades program, I hope young people are inspired by the pathways to a long-lasting, good-paying career in the trades,” says Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “School districts like SD83 and the employers who help connect young people in the North Okanagan and Shuswap regions with the skills they need are adult allies in building up our youth, building the skilled workforce employers need, and building the best BC.”

“Youth are the future of skilled trades in BC,” says Shelley Gray, Chief Executive Officer, ITA. “We’re thankful for the dedicated and committed school districts and educators that connect students to local employers through the ITA Youth Work in Trades program.”

In addition to SD83, seven other school districts received a Youth Work in Trades Performance Award. Each school district presented with the award is considered a top-performer supporting trades work experience within their region.