HPAC Magazine

Industry Training Authority announces expanded services for trades education system

August 7, 2019 | By HPAC Magazine

Trades apprentices and the trades education system in British Columbia are receiving more support through expanded services and regional outreach.

This September, the Industry Training Authority (ITA) is bringing the total number of Apprenticeship Advisors to 20 across the province, with new advisors in the Prince George, Terrace/Kitimat, Abbotsford/Mission, Chilliwack, and Vancouver/Richmond regions.

These advisors will help build knowledge and awareness of the BC apprenticeship system and provide guidance to apprentices and employer sponsors on processes and policies relating to the apprenticeship journey.

The addition was made possible through funding from the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.

“New Apprenticeship Advisors means more support for aspiring trades training students closer to home. This new investment means more British Columbians will be able to access high-paying 21st century jobs,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “To remain competitive, BC will need the best skilled labour force and professionals that are industry-ready on day one. Investing in these new advisors is essential to making sure trades students are set up for success in our province.”

Through an understanding of their specific regions, the advisors will also build relationships with local industry members and apprenticeship sponsors and identify opportunities to remove barriers and boost success rates of apprenticeships.

ITA has also created a new region – North Vancouver Island – which is being staffed by existing advisor Shannon Hanson, who previously supported North Vancouver and the Sea-to-Sky region. The Sea-to-Sky region is now being staffed by existing advisor Chris Klar.

Training providers such as colleges will also benefit from increased Apprenticeship Advisors who will help current trades students navigate the apprenticeship system as well as assist experienced workers (challengers) in their journey to achieving credit for knowledge and skills they already possess.

“ITA’s continued support enables the apprentices in our trades program to be successful in their career path,” said Randy Kelley, Director, Applied and Technical Studies, University of the Fraser Valley. “We’re looking forward to working with the new Apprenticeship Advisors to further the work we’re doing to elevate trades education in the region by increasing awareness of the skilled trades, improving access through innovative program delivery, and guiding students during their apprenticeship journey.”

There are over 70,000 job openings expected for skilled trades professionals throughout the province in the next decade.

The Industry Training Authority (ITA) leads and coordinates British Columbia’s skilled trades system. ITA works with apprentices, employers, industry, labour, training providers and government to fund training, issue credentials, support apprenticeships, set program standards and increase opportunities in the trades. www.itabc.ca



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