Trades training support comes to valley

The Industry Training Authority has launched a step towards ensuring the future success of trades training

The Industry Training Authority has launched a step towards ensuring the future success of trades training in B.C. with the introduction of regional apprenticeship advisors.

In the Okanagan, Finbar O’Sullivan, will serve as the local apprenticeship advisor.

“Apprentices and employer sponsors are fundamental in ensuring that we have skilled workers in the Okanagan to help meet the labour demands and capitalize on the economic opportunities that are coming to this region,” said Gary Herman, Industry Training Authority chief executive officer.

“Local apprenticeship advisors will provide support and guidance to local apprentices and employers so that they are able to grow and prosper together.”

The apprenticeship advisor initiative is a direct result of an in-depth, province-wide consultation into apprenticeship supports that took place in 2013, and included input from multiple stakeholders.

The initiative is regionally-based, and delivers on ITA’s commitment to the B.C. skills and training plan.

Apprenticeship advisors will serve as an extension of the ITA customer support team, with the primary responsibility of providing regional support to apprentices and sponsors, creating a positive impact on continuation and completion rates for apprenticeship.

Key responsibilities will include building a knowledge of the B.C. apprenticeship system, advising apprentices and sponsors, boosting apprentice success and supporting apprentice and sponsor connections.

Sponsoring an apprentice is a key way for employers to guarantee they have skilled, prepared workers to meet labour demands.

According to the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum, for every dollar an employer invests in apprenticeship training, they receive an average return on investment of $1.47.

O’Sullivan is a certified career development practitioner with more than nine years working in the trades.

Before entering the world of career counselling, he worked for several years as an automotive mechanic.