VICTORIA – The British Columbia Construction Association (BCCA) has launched the Building Builders mentorship program to get new workers to join the construction industry.
The federal government is providing $3.6 million to the BCCA to fund the program as part of its Canada’s Skilled Trades Awareness and Readiness (STAR) program.
Building Builders will “connect under and unemployed workers, labourers and unregistered apprentices working in B.C.’s construction industry with established credentialed tradespeople, executives and industry leaders who have been working in construction in B.C. for a minimum of 10 years. These mentorships will provide career guidance for workers and a talent acquisition opportunity for employers who are seeking new workers during the ongoing labour shortage,” a BCCA release stated.
The program’s objectives are to attract non-traditional workers to the construction industry and retain existing workers who are potentially not supported in apprenticeship by their current employers. Other goals include lowering the average age of apprenticeship initiation from the current age of 27, improve apprenticeship registration and completion rates and place mentees in employment with mentor companies.
“Mentorship is a tradition in the construction industry, where apprentices learn their craft under the experienced guidance of an accredited journeyperson. Building Builders amplifies the role of mentorship well beyond the apprentice/journey relationship, giving jobseekers and those workers who are under employed in their current construction job a way to connect to employers and mentors who might otherwise be out of reach,” BCCA president Chris Atchison said.
Mentees will receive one-to-one coaching, job leads and work experience and program staff will provide connection, support, opportunities and guidance for both the mentor and the mentee throughout the program, the release stated.
The Building Builders program will be open for applications in August and is intended to run for approximately two years and seek 300 mentees through a 12-month mentorship period. Mentees will receive Site Ready safety training and mentees and mentor companies will receive culture training through the Builder’s Code, an industry code of conduct spearheaded by the BCCA and other industry stakeholders.
More information on the federal STAR program is available here.