Okanagan College Apprentice Hiring Project puts first-year apprentices to work

Hire apprentices, get grants

Businesses looking to hire first-year apprentices can receive government money for doing so.

Okanagan College’s Apprentice Hiring Project offers $5,000 when a company hires a first-year apprentice or $10,000 if the person voluntarily self-identifies from an equity-deserving group. The money comes from the federal government, and Okanagan College administers the funds.

AHP has worked wonders for both an Interior business and apprentice. Blair Jones suffered a spinal cord injury at age 17, which left him as a paraplegic, and the Kamloops resident now works as a custom wood framing apprentice for SVT Custom Framing. The company, which received the $10,000 AHP grant, has worked hard to make its job sites accessible for Jones.

“I’ve taken Blair on as a first-year apprentice and his work is excellent,” SVT Custom Framing’s Jeremy McIntosh said in a press release. “The grant money I receive from the program will be used to make one of my site trailers completely wheelchair accessible with a ramp installed for both doors, and I’m also going to invest in a set of tools for Blair.”

Jones has often struggled with accessibility at job sites, and he often found it difficult to stay busy because of it.

“When I first spoke with Jeremy, his openness to seeing what I could do was the break I was waiting for,” Jones said. “I am extremely grateful to have been presented this opportunity, and I’m excited to see where this apprenticeship leads me.”

AHP grants are available to small and medium-sized businesses that hire first-year apprentices in 39 Red Seal construction and manufacturing trades.

More information about AHP can be found here or by calling 250-762-5445 ext. 4479.

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