North Okanagan schools kick off pilot project

The North Okanagan Shuswap School District is one of three districts piloting in the Industry Training Authority’s Mentorship Project

Students in the North Okanagan will be some of the first in B.C. to take part in a mentorship program connecting youth apprentices with trades professionals.

The North Okanagan Shuswap School District is one of three districts piloting in the Industry Training Authority’s Mentorship Project. The project connects youth apprentices with certified tradespeople to provide an opportunity for mutual growth and skills development.

“Our school district was chosen as one of the districts to take part,” said Alice Hucul, North Okanagan Shuswap School District communications.

Mentors help aspiring tradespeople bridge their transition from high school programs like ACE IT and SSA to adult apprenticeships and post-secondary training by offering guidance, support, advice and encouragement.

Youth apprentices are matched with mentors based on their location and chosen trade. Over the course of the five-month mentorship, participants are expected to spend 15 hours – or approximately 30 minutes per week – together.

Mentors receive in-person and online training in career coaching, conflict resolution, social media and communications technology. Youth apprentices have the opportunity to attend workshops on a wide variety of topics, including employability, job readiness, communications and conflict resolution.

The local school district is hosting a project kick off for those involved Jan. 30 at 4 p.m. at the Podollan Inn in Salmon Arm.

The project is being piloted in three BC school districts this month – Kitimat/Terrace, North Okanagan and Vancouver – with the goal of expanding to more school districts and trade-related employers in fall 2014.

If you are interested in learning more contact mentorship-project@itabc.ca.