After years of development, the College of the BC Building Trades was launched to help aspiring apprentices more easily explore careers in the trades and seize opportunities.
Prospective students can visit the digital campus online. The campus offers detailed information on dozens of trades, apprenticeships and admission requirements. Online tools can be used to assess skills and connect directly with training schools and campuses across the province.
The site offers a learning portal where students can test their math, literacy, science and document use skills, register for preparatory courses, download learning guides, access a variety of resources. learning and watch videos presenting the many trades.
Students can also take a trades assessment module that assesses the learner’s strengths and areas requiring improvement before entering a desired apprenticeship.
Brynn Bourke, Interim Executive Director of BC Building Trades, explained that the virtual campus concept started several years ago as a shared dream with SkillPlan, which offers technical training and a range of workforce development services. of work in industry. The building trades wanted a place to talk about the collective union training system and wanted to do a better job of connecting with apprentices.
“We had a test: if you were a potential apprentice and walked down the street and saw this, would you know that this is a place to go to train? This is how the College of the BC Building Trades was born. He passes this test, ”Bourke said. “Not only can you explore trades and use literacy and math assessment tools that help you understand the skills related to each unique trade, but you can also develop your skills to be ready to begin an apprenticeship. And then it connects you directly with these training providers.
Bourke added that they often heard that people interested in the trades didn’t know how or where to start. There were also lesser-known trades like glaziers, refrigeration technicians, sheet metal workers that few even knew were options. But the development process involved breaking out of their own bubble.
“It was hard to come out on our own,” Bourke said. “We live and breathe our system. Our coaches too. So we can myopic on what we are and how it works.
A professional team outside of the building trades was able to point out that the system of provincially accredited schools functions like a college. The construction trades have 141 instructors and facilities in Burnaby, Delta, Fort St. John, Port Coquitlam, Prince George, Surrey, Terrace, Vancouver and Victoria.
“The next big step is to get in touch with guidance counselors so they can use these tools and incorporate them into their career awareness programs,” said Bourke.
The changes are much better suited to modern career paths. Bourke explained that unlike years ago, when a young teenager decided to take the trades in high school and planned his classes accordingly, many envision those careers in their late twenties.
“What do you do if they haven’t followed this trip?” Bourke said. “We have to find better and more efficient ways. “
Bourke said the project took nearly four years to produce and the content library will continue to grow.
“You can actually watch someone doing the craft, you can hear interviews about how real people have been drawn to this profession and it’s going to draw the curtain down on some of the lesser known trades,” Bourke said.
The college’s website is collegeofthebcbt.ca and a video outlining its features can be viewed here.
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