Business

Kal Tire advances skills training

Kal Tire stores across the country, including in the Okanagan, will be providing youth with hands-on training through the Skilled4Success program. - Kal Tire photo
Kal Tire stores across the country, including in the Okanagan, will be providing youth with hands-on training through the Skilled4Success program.
— image credit: Kal Tire photo

Kal Tire and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada have launched the second year of Skilled4Success, a national program designed to help young people explore, discover and develop career possibilities in the skilled trades.

Vernon-based Kal Tire piloted the Skilled4Success program with youth participating from 15 boys and girls clubs across Canada last year. There was such a positive response from teens and potential employers that it has become an ongoing national program of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada.

According to a 15-year-old youth participant last year, “Skilled4Success taught me a lot of new things. I had no idea what a skilled trade was or that I even had any skills to become a skilled trade worker. I loved having real people come in and talk about their education and career experiences.”

Skilled tradespeople play a vital role in the economy and communities across Canada and society depends on the work of skilled tradespeople. Manufacturers and exporters predict that in 2016, Canada will have a surplus of 660,000 unskilled workers, with 1.3 million skilled jobs sitting vacant.

Skilled4Success was created to help address this imbalance and improve the career prospects of young people in Canada.

The program offers job skills training, career planning advice and information about provincially regulated apprenticeship programs.

“As part of the job shadowing experience, it’s important to demonstrate to the youth the many elements that would be involved in any skilled trade,” said Ed Lauer, Kal Tire’s director of stores for Western Canada.

“Safety is number one. They are all asked to wear proper personal protection and they learn about safe work environments. They also learn what it means to have good training and a mentor, and to provide quality service. And when they get to roll up their sleeves and participate in vehicle inspections, we find the youth very enthusiastic.”

Through a combination of in-club programming and off-site field trips, Skilled4Success offers traditional and hands-on learning.

Teens are provided job-shadow opportunities with skilled professionals at Kal Tire stores or other work environments. The program also teaches job search strategies, resume writing and general skills that can be applied in a range of careers. While there is a focus on skilled trades, teens are encouraged to explore a range of career options and identify their special talents.

“We are delighted to build upon the partnership between Kal Tire and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada,” said Pam Jolliffe, BGCC president.

“Our young people can explore rewarding career options and acquire the skills needed to land a job interview. Skilled4Success is one of many ways our Clubs encourage personal growth, learning and community involvement.”

Among the clubs across the country offering the Skilled4Success program from February to June is the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club.

 

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