When Nick Peters, Jeremy Deschamps, Rowan Wood and Ian Augustin started the Youth Work in Trades Program, they didn’t quite know what to expect.
However, through the encouragement of School District 22 career coordinators, these young men found their passion and a career.
Through the Youth Work in Trades Program, students receive work-based training of a trade apprenticeship while still in high school. They earn credits towards their high school diploma, log 480 training hours toward their trade credential and have the potential to win a $1000 award.
Peters had aspirations of becoming a heavy duty mechanic or auto service technician in Grades 9 and 10. But as the years passed, he realized that wasn’t the trade he wanted to build a career in.
“Working with the career coordinator at my school was a great experience and so helpful,” Peters said.
Peters took his trades training in plumbing and has already had several great opportunities. He is currently working for Fox & Sons Plumbing with a goal of attaining his required hours and ticket.
Deschamps decided to focus on welding after spending a couple summers welding with his uncle. When presented with the idea of the dual credit training, Deschamps said, “It was a great opportunity to do something I’ve always enjoyed doing, so I jumped right on it.”
Deschamps’ future plans include finishing off the last level of his apprenticeship, continue progressing in the trade and eventually becoming a millwright.
Wood said he didn’t put a lot of thought into his career after graduating. It was actually during some extra curricular activities where Wood met someone who introduced him to framing. With that introduction, Wood joined the Youth Work in Trades Program and started on his journey as a framer.
“Start thinking about a career in trades early. There are so many great job opportunities,” Wood said of his advice to others.
Peters, Deschamps and Wood started in the Youth Train in Trades program where they took Level 1 technical training in their chosen trade at Okanagan College, with their tuition paid for by School District 22 (with funding from the Industry Training Authority and Ministry of Education). They then continued on in the Youth Work in Trades program where they secured employment and received practical training in their apprenticeships. In both programs, these students earned high school credits towards graduation.
Their hard work off Thursday, Jan. 10, when Peters, Deschamps and Wood were presented with the $1000 Youth Work in Trades Award, sponsored by the Industry Training Authority. Augustin was unable to attend the presentation as he is currently working in his field of carpentry on Vancouver Island.
“The workplace skills gained through the ITA program have been invaluable to these students and we wish them all the best in their new careers,” said Martiza Reilly, School District 22 communications coordinator.