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Employer input sought to revise Heavy Duty Mechanical trades training

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DAWSON CREEK – Apprenticeship – skilled trades people mentoring and teaching others in the workplace – is a centuries old tradition.

And while British Columbia’s industry training system today involves governments, colleges, industry bodies and other stakeholders each with an important role to play, it really all comes down to the commitment of employers to providing on-the-job learning opportunities.

Approximately 80 per cent of Apprenticeship training is done in the workplace, compared to about 20 per cent in a classroom setting.

So who better to help determine the skills and knowledge needed by trades people than the companies that employ them?

There is an opportunity for local employers to participate in this process by attending one of two upcoming meetings at Northern Lights College. At these sessions, representatives of NLC and the Transportation Career Development Agency (transCDA) will present proposed new training standards for the heavy mechanical trades, and will be looking for input and validation from industry experts.

If your business employs mechanics specializing in heavy duty equipment, commercial transport or diesel engines and you can send a subject matter expert to one of these sessions – either someone actively working on the tools in one of these trades or supervising others – your input is being sought.

The sessions will be held on Monday, Nov. 22 in the following locations:
• Dawson Creek Campus (11401-8th Street), Room 3110 in the Campus Centre building, from 1-3 pm
• Fort St. John Campus (9820-120 Avenue), Room 2-116 in the Jim Kassen Industry Training Centre
   building, from 6-8 pm.

According to Russel Robertson, chief executive officer of transCDA, the programs are being updated to make sure they meet employer needs in the workplace, provide learners with the skills for career success, and generate good value for the public dollars invested in training. As well, there is significant overlapping content in these programs which could be taught more efficiently with streamlining.

Robertson’s organization represents employers in all transportation sectors – marine, aerospace, and transportation infrastructure, along with all forms of ground transportation.

The group has been tasked by B.C.’s Industry Training Authority to conduct a province-wide review of Apprenticeship programs for the heavy mechanical trades. The programs have been reviewed by instructors at colleges across B.C. – including NLC – and are now ready for industry input.

For more information on these sessions, or to sign up, contact NLC’s Trades and Apprenticeship Coordinator, Pam Eales at or 250-784-7605.