PRINCE GEORGE – Prince George has a new on-the-ground resource for apprentices and employer sponsors with today’s announcement of Donna Anderson being hired as a new Industry Training Authority (ITA) Apprenticeship Advisor.

“Practical experience through apprenticeship is key to helping students build their careers,” says Prince George-Mackenzie MLA Mike Morris. “Having seasoned advisors will support employer sponsors and students.”

Donna Anderson is a certified Career Development Practitioner, an experienced case manager and job coach. Previously, she has worked with the Aboriginal Community Career Employment Services Agency, Métis Nation BC, and at the Aboriginal Employment Centre at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

“With 15 Apprenticeship Advisors on the ground we have delivered on the McDonald report recommendations to appoint more advisors to coordinate, track and support apprentices, and liaise with employers and training partners. As well, the ITA’s hiring of Donna Anderson demonstrates government’s commitment to meeting goals we set out in B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint to hire 10 more advisors this year,” says Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond. “A common theme I hear from apprentices is the need for regional advisors with a knowledge of the entire B.C. apprenticeship system – and the ITA is doing that with Donna Anderson coming on board as an Apprenticeship Advisor.”

This hiring brings the total number of advisors throughout the province to 15. The new Apprenticeship Advisors are located in the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley and Prince George and have already started in their communities.

Apprenticeship Advisors serve as an extension of the ITA Customer Support team, with the primary responsibility of providing regional support to apprentices and employer sponsors, creating a positive impact on continuation and completion rates for apprenticeship. Key responsibilities include building a knowledge of the BC apprenticeship system, advising apprentices and employer sponsors, boosting apprentice success and supporting apprentice and sponsor connections.

“We have moved quickly to build our Apprenticeship Advisor team as we have already seen how crucial they are to supporting both apprentices and employers,” says Gary Herman, Industry Training Authority CEO. “Now that we have 15 Advisors in place, we look forward to working closely with local industry and apprentices in communities across the province to ensure we have the right skills, in the right place, at the right time.”

The introduction of the Apprenticeship Advisor initiative was the result of an in-depth, province-wide consultation into apprenticeship supports that took place in 2013, and included input from multiple stakeholders. It is also in direct response to the recently launched B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint as well as recommendations made in the McDonald Report.