Hands on learning from a mentor is an integral part of any trades program.
B.C. is celebrating the 80th anniversary of formalized trades in the province.
Mentorship is a crucial component to the functioning of the skilled trades training system and the province relies on trades mentors to prepare and set beginners on the right path towards a successful career in the skilled trades.
Brodie Blair of Vernon is one of those mentors.
Blair, of Sawmill Equipment Company, has gained the respect of apprentice Danika Serafin, who is in her fourth year of metal fabrication.
“Brodie is the glue in our shop. Everyone goes to him when they’re stuck or are in need of advice,” said Serafin.
“I’m thankful every day that I am able to learn from such a talented and patient individual. I’ve had a lot of bad days working, but I couldn’t have got through them without him and his support.”
A mentor helps guide an apprentice as they leave the classroom and transition into the workplace.
“You only gain a quarter of the knowledge from school. The rest is hands-on, and you need a mentor to help you, or else you will take short cuts,” said Serafin.
“You need a mentor to master the trade.”
Blair enjoys passing on his knowledge to people that are willing to ask questions and learn.
“It is my pleasure to teach Danika mainly because she wanted to learn something new every day and appreciated what I had to say and show,” said Blair.
“It is really neat to see someone transform over the four years. Danika was a top student all four years and won an award in her last year.”
Blair says he’s the person he is today because of influential individuals he’s had and it’s the reason he passes his knowledge on now.
“I have always had mentors in my life, high school shop teacher, parents, my uncle and a few fellow workers,” said Blair.
“I wouldn’t be who I am today if it wasn’t for my mentors.”