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Campus Life - Okanagan

Solving B.C. skills shortage starts with parents

Okanagan College Media Release

To promote skilled trades training as a first choice for secondary students, Okanagan College is partnering with Discover Trades BC to host a Valley-wide conference for parents, school counselors and teachers at the Kelowna campus on Friday, Dec. 6 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Parents play a major role in the career path children choose,” says David Kalaski, Coordinator Career Programs, SD67 Okanagan Skaha.

In fact, a 2011 Angus Reid Public Opinion survey of more than 1,500 children ages 7 to 18 found 82 per cent of Canadian youth turned to their parents for guidance on making decisions about their education and careers.

“The conversation between parents and their kids has traditionally been about university being the first choice for post-secondary education,” says Kalaski. “But that line of thought is flawed and partially the reason we have a skills shortage in British Columbia.”

“Educating parents about where the jobs will be when students graduate from post-secondary is a good place to start,” he says. 

So too will be providing parents with a better understanding of what is involved in training for a skilled trade.

To that end, Okanagan College is opening its doors and inviting parents to attend the Discover Trades BC Parent/Teacher Conference on Friday, Dec. 6.

“During the day, we’ll raise awareness about how skilled tradespeople affect our daily lives, break the myths associated with trades careers, and highlight the diversity of opportunities within the trades,” says Dianne Holm of Trades and Apprenticeship at Okanagan College.

Parents will even have the opportunity to participate in real projects, such as building walls, trouble shooting car engines, and using trades training simulators.

“The emphasis is on how we—industry, parents and educators—can work together to provide our children and students with the right tools, understanding, assistance and opportunities to learn how trades can provide them with fulfilling and productive careers,” says Holm.

Discover Trades BC is a consortium of 14 public post-secondary educational institutions created to promote trades training in British Columbia.

Contact Dianne Holm at 250-862-5457 or via email at [email protected] to register or get more information about the Discover Trades BC Parent/Teacher Conference.


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