PRINCE GEORGE – School District 57 will receive $30,000 from the Industry Training Authority (ITA) for Secondary School Apprenticeship (SSA) program support for the 2015-16 school year.

The funds will support School District 57 in placing SSA students in grades 10, 11 and 12 with local employers to attain practical experience. Students will “earn while they learn” and gain credit towards their high school diploma and the apprenticeship portion of their trades training.

“The funds we have received through the Secondary School Apprenticeship Support Grants have had a fundamental impact on School District #57’s apprenticeship program,” District Career Programs Coordinator Bruce Northrop said. “The grants have provided the resources and flexibility necessary to engage our students, parents, and employers. As a result, our students have received the support they required to get an early start on many challenging and lucrative careers.”

Last year’s SSA registration numbers were the highest they have been since the 2009 pre-recession years. In 2014-15, 1048 students registered in SSA programs across B.C. representing an increase of more than 10 per centover 2013-14.

“We anticipate that there will be up to one million job openings in B.C. by 2022 and we want to ensure that British Columbians have the skills they need to participate in our strong, growing and diverse economy,” Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond said. “By working together, we can ensure that our students are equipped with the skills they need to prepare for successful careers in the trades.”

“Our government wants to create a seamless path from the classroom to the workplace for our students,” Prince George-Mackenzie MLA Mike Morris said. “Exposing our students to hands-on trades training while in school is a practical way to help prepare them for future jobs.”

“The youth play a pivotal role in sustaining B.C.’s future economic boom,” ITA CEO Gary Herman said. “There are more skilled tradespeople retiring from the workforce than entering it so we need to support the youth in trades training so that they are ready to respond to the increasing demand in the labour market.”

ITA partners with the Ministry of Education to deliver four youth programs focused on awareness building of skilled trades’ careers, practical work experience and apprenticeship technical training: SKILLS EXPLORATION 10-12; ACE-IT; SSA; AND YES-2-IT.