VANCOUVER — The Industry Training Authority of British Columbia (ITA) is expanding its apprenticeship advisors to 20 across the province.
New advisors are planned for Vancouver and Richmond, Abbotsford and Mission, the Terrace/Kitimat region, and Chilliwack.
The advisors are intended to build knowledge and awareness of the B.C. apprenticeship system as well as guidance to both apprentices and employer sponsors, an ITA release stated.
“We’re delighted to have this group of dedicated professionals, who have all been involved in the skilled trades and community building for many years, collectively bring a range of valuable experience, and deeply understand the needs and challenges of our varied stakeholders,” ITA CEO Shelley Gray said.
The additional advisor spaces were funded by the B.C. ministry of advanced education, skills and training.
“New Apprenticeship Advisors means more support for aspiring trades training students closer to home. This new investment means more British Columbians will be able to access high-paying 21st century jobs. remain competitive, B.C. will need the best skilled labour force and professionals that are industry-ready on day one. Investing in these new advisors is essential to making sure trades students are set up for success in our province,” B/C/ minister of advanced education, skills and training Melanie Mark said.
Advisors will also build relationships with local members of industry and apprenticeship sponsors to identify opportunities and raise apprenticeship success rates.
The ITA has also created North Vancouver Island as a new region for the organization staffed by existing advisor Shannon Hanson, who previously supported the North Vancouver and Sea-to-Sky regions. Se-to-Sky is now being staffed by existing advisor Chris Klar.
The new advisors as of Sept 9. are Dave Coleman and Kristen Emel in Prince George, Michele Owen in Terrace and Kitimat, Kyle Kozak in Abbotsford and Mission, David Seynard in Chilliwack, and Julie Sawatsky in the Vancouver and Richmond region.
“ITA’s continued support enables the apprentices in our trades program to be successful in their career path. We’re looking forward to working with the new Apprenticeship Advisors to further the work we’re doing to elevate trades education in the region by increasing awareness of the skilled trades, improving access through innovative program delivery, and guiding students during their apprenticeship journey,” University of the Fraser Valley director of applied and technical studies Randy Kelley said.
Over 70,000 job openings are expected in B.C. over the next decade, the ITA release stated, with apprenticeship advisors “one more way to ensure apprentices are supported to complete their skills training so they can enter the workforce and enjoy long-lasting, well-paying careers in B.C.”