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VIU program aims to help newcomers to Canada join the trades

DCN-JOC News Services
VIU program aims to help newcomers to Canada join the trades

NANAIMO, B.C. – Vancouver Island University (VIU) in Nanaimo, B.C. is introducing a new program for newcomers to Canada in the region to help them enter the skilled trades.

Called Trades Pathways for Newcomers, the cohort-based bridging program aims to support newcomers by “by ensuring they have the skills, knowledge and supports to successfully transition into the educational programs that will get them there,” a VIU release said.

“With Nanaimo growing in both size and diversity, many newcomers are flowing into the region with either a background in trades or skills that would lend themselves well to working in the trades in Canada. What we’re trying to do is bridge that gap to help newcomers find their way into these trades jobs,” VIU’s Trades Pathways co-ordinator Darrell Harvey said in a statement.

Students will shadow different trade programs at VIU, including carpentry, electrical, baking, culinary and other disciplines depending on their interests. A trades background is not required to join the program.

One cohort will start in September and a second cohort opens in January 2024. Each will be 15 weeks long, 15 hours per week, with classes taking place in the morning.

Harvey said the schedule was designed to recognize newcomers have other commitments such as a full or part-time job or child care duties. 

The program, which is a collaboration between VIU’s trades programs and the faculty of academic and career preparation, is also tuition-free because of a $1 million provincial investment.

VIU is also working closely with community partners such as the Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society, Cowichan Intercultural Society, school districts and WorkBC to publicize the program to newcomers.

Applications are now being accepted for the September intake and those who would like more information can contact Harvey directly at Information is also available at the Pathways program webpage.

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