Students with limited or no previous experience in trades can access training that will lead to employment and future careers in construction, thanks to a program that starts at the end of January at Okanagan College’s Salmon Arm campus.
Okanagan College will be offering an intake of the Construction Craft Worker program starting on Jan. 30 at the College’s Salmon Arm Trades Centre.
“This new program is supporting students to gain the skills they need now, helping them get good jobs in industries where communities need them,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills. “The training and education people receive at Okanagan College will also set them up for the long-term, because skilled trades professionals are critical to the ongoing health and growth of the economy in this region and across the province.”
The 10-week program, which is fully sponsored, includes tuition, tools and supports for meals and transportation for students who meet certain criteria, including being under-skilled, unemployed or partially employed.
“We are continually looking to collaborate with industry partners to respond in areas where the communities in our region have real needs in the workforce,” said Okanagan College President Neil Fassina. “This new program in Salmon Arm shows how working together with partners and decision-makers supports people who are looking for more training to help them advance in their careers.”
Construction craft workers handle a variety of specialized tasks on job sites, including preparing and cleaning job sites, masonry, working with materials like concrete and steel, site security, operating equipment and monitoring safety.
Fassina noted the importance of a range of trades training being accessible in smaller communities outside the Lower Mainland, including at Okanagan College’s campuses in Salmon Arm, Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton.
“It can be hard to break into the trades,” says Irene Kerr, President and CEO of BC Infrastructure Benefits. “That’s why we look for opportunities like this one, ways to bring people into the sector. This program will introduce people to a newly regulated trade and help them build their careers and futures.”
Okanagan College received $98,380 funding from the Community Workforce Response Grant program to deliver the Construction Craft Worker program. This funding was provided by the Government of Canada through the Canada-BC Workforce Development Agreement and the Province of British Columbia.
More information about the role of a Construction Craft Worker can be found on Skilled Trades BC’s website. To inquire/apply for the program, individuals can contact [email protected] or call 236-889-4230.
Funded by the Canada-BC Workforce Development Agreement and the Province of British Columbia, the Construction Craft Worker program is a partnership between Okanagan College, BC Infrastructure Benefits (BCIB), and LiUNA - the Laborers' International Union of North America.