School District 72 students are finding greater success when it comes to apprenticeship programs.
At the latest board of education meeting in October, interim superintendent Jim Cambridge updated trustees on how things are trending.
“We have a lot of students who were quite successful last year,” he said.
The students are enroled through the Industrial Training Authority (ITA) BC youth apprentice program.
“This last year we have a hundred per cent pass rate,” he said. “That is something to really cherish.”
Cambridge said 13 district students were taking part in an ITA trade program working toward a journeyman’s certificate while they are still in school, with all 13 are on track to become journeymen.
“By doing that, they have the advantage moving forward,” Cambridge said.
This means the students will have completed a first year, which they can count toward their ticket in the future.
“It’s almost like a free year of university education,” he added.
Three of the local students are learning carpentry, another seven are in construction-electrician training, one heavy duty is training to be an equipment technician and two others are working toward becoming professional cooks.
“Lots of these students go on to have very successful careers,” Cambridge said, “something I think we should be proud of.”
The 100 per cent pass rate is jump over recent years’ rates. Last year, the figure for apprenticeship students was 81 per cent while the year previous it was 60 per cent.
“Even though we were putting kids into the program, they weren’t being successful,” Cambridge said. “Last year we were really getting that formula ticking.”
As to the reason for the upward trend, Cambridge said it could mean the district is helping to get the kids the right supports they need for their apprenticeships or picking the right students to take part in the program.
“I can’t tell you which, but the program’s getting better,” he added.
Chair Susan Wilson said the interim superintendent’s report came as “very good news,” not only for the students in the trades programs but also every business that is looking for tradespeople.
“It’s wonderful to see that kind of commitment on the part of the students,” she added.
The ITA program is part of the school district’s career education program offered for local secondary students. According to its website, the ITA oversees trades training in the province and works with government, industry, employers, unions and training providers to increase job opportunities in the trades. It oversees exams, assessments and issues certificates of qualification or red seal certification.