B.C. launches trades training pilot programs

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As part of its Apprenticeship Recognition Week, the B.C. government has announced two new innovation pilot projects intended to improve training outcomes for apprentices. The program will be delivered through Camosun College in Victoria through more than $331,000 in funding provided by the province.

Journal of Commerce quotes a statement issued by Shirley Bond, B.C. minister of jobs, who said: “Finding new and innovative methods of delivering trades training are essential as we constantly look to improve outcomes and employability of apprentices. These two innovation pilots at Camosun College show the kind of approach that B.C. needs to remain a leader in education and training.”

The first pilot will receive more than $166,000 and will convert Level 1 apprentice curriculum for the pipe trades, including plumber, steam/ pipefitter, sprinkler-fitter and gasfitter, into a blended two-phase program that will consist of a face-to-face practical component and an online theory component.

The program will reduce on site training by half, from six to three weeks, and “adds four months of access to an online curriculum.”

The second pilot will receive more than $162,000 and will deliver online and in-class learning for professional cook Level 3. This change means all levels of the professional cook training are now online.”Camosun is excited to deliver e-pprentice online training options to those students pursuing careers in the pipe trades and professional cooking,” said Eric Sehn, dean of the School of Trades and Technology at Camosun College. “This type of online education model makes these trades programs a very attractive and sustainable training option for apprentices in various economic, geographic and employment situations.”

This year the Industry Training Authority (ITA) invited B.C.’s 14 post-secondary institutions and 24 non-public training providers that receive annual ITA funding to submit innovation pilot proposals.

The purpose of the innovation pilots is reportedly “to test and evaluate methods of delivering trades training programs that result in better outcomes for apprentices and their employer sponsors.”

The provincial government invests more than $94 million annually in industry training through the ITA. The ITA leads and co-ordinates British Columbia’s skilled trades system by working with employers, employees, industry, labour, training providers and government to issue credentials, manage apprenticeships, set program standards and increase opportunities in the trades.

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