Kamloops, B.C. – B.C. youth sparked their curiosity in welding this summer with a week-long camp at Thompson Rivers University (TRU).
Teens from the Kamloops area and throughout British Columbia graduated from a week-long welding camp at TRU. The program is designed to teach basic welding skills and plant the seed for future careers in the in-demand field.
The Arx and Sparx welding camp program was run at six locations this summer, including TRU’s Kamloops campus. The camps are funded by LNG Canada. Participants start by learning about welding safety, gas metal arc welding, introductory welding symbols and the impact welding has on their everyday lives.
“This camp is specifically designed to provide young people with a hands-on introduction to welding and inspire them to pursue a career in welding. Students build confidence and have fun while being supervised by professionals in a safe environment,” said Susan Crowley, executive director, CWB Welding Foundation. “Through experiential learning opportunities like the Arx and Sparx welding camp, their newly sparked interest in welding may lead to further education and employment.”
Once participants have worked through the theory portion, they get to apply their skills to creative projects.
Cultural awareness is an important portion of the camps, with Elders and community members from local bands present throughout the week to provide cultural context around what participants are learning. The individual projects completed by each participant also include references to Indigenous cultural teachings.
The CWB Welding Foundation develops and hosts the camps. The foundation is a national not-for-profit charitable organization that works with partners to sustain the need for skilled welding professionals in the workforce. The group has hosted nearly 170 youth welding camps across Canada since their first in Edmonton, in 2014.
The summer 2019 camps are funded by LNG Canada—a joint venture of various international energy conglomerates building a liquified natural gas export facility in Kitimat, BC—and training is provided by TRU School of Trades and Technology welding instructors.