BC Construction Association launches ‘building builders’ mentorship program

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

The British Columbia Construction Association has launched a new support program to connect under and unemployed workers with experienced mentors across all disciplines in the construction industry.

Building Builders is the only province-wide mentorship program serving BC’s construction industry, filling an important gap in an academic-leaning culture that often does not adequately encourage the skilled trades as a career path.

Anyone interested in exploring a construction career can apply for one of the 300 mentee positions and be matched with leaders in construction – all carefully screened to ensure they have been working in the industry for at least 10 years.

Early adopters to the program include Ellis Don, Penfolds Roofing, and Corrcoat Services Inc.

Building Builders is funded to run for three years, and support 300 mentees through a 12-month mentorship period.  Mentees will receive Site Ready safety training, and mentees and mentor companies will receive culture training through the Builders Code.

“If you don’t have the right contacts, it can be hard to navigate a career in the construction industry” says Chris Atchison, BCCA president. “Guidance counsellors, parents, and teachers aren’t always fully informed about the opportunities or encouraging of a non-academic path. BCCA is thrilled to connect industry leaders with young talent, get their questions answered, get them personal advice from experts who really know the way, and help them fulfill their career goals.

“Expert, personal guidance can be difficult to access for job seekers without connections inside the industry, and it can take years for talent to get on an accelerated path.”

The average age of an apprentice in BC is 27, and BCCA hopes that Building Builders will help first year apprentices get started earlier and stay in the system by providing personalized, ongoing career guidance.

Mentors and mentees should go to www.buildingbuilders.ca to apply.

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