School District 39 in Vancouver will receive $40,000 in funding for the Youth Work in Trades program to boost trades training for young people in district schools.

Vancouver-Fraserview MLA Suzanne Anton made the announcement today, on behalf of Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour, during a visit to Killarney Secondary school where she toured the school’s trades classes and met with students.

Youth Work in Trades, formerly Secondary School Apprenticeship (SSA), is a dual credit program that provides an opportunity for B.C. students in grades 10, 11 and 12 to begin their apprenticeship journey. The funds support school districts in placing students with local employers to attain practical experience. Students will earn a paycheque while gaining credit toward their high school diploma and the apprenticeship portion of their trades training.

Allocation of Youth Work in Trades funding reflects regional and school districts’ needs. These funding opportunities directly support the goals of B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint to realign training investments to better prepare the province’s youth for a successful career in skilled trades.

The funding helps districts cover staffing costs to support and guide youth in securing jobs and employer sponsorship required to enter the trades apprenticeship system. It will also help youth transition from technical training to work-based training, and build further awareness of opportunities in the skilled trades among youth, parents, educators and employers in their communities.

The B.C. government committed an additional $7.8 million from Budget 2016 to the Industry Training Authority (ITA) for its youth program expansion over the next three years. This has allowed the ITA to expand its youth trades training programs including the funding of an additional 18 school districts in 2016-17, for a total of 45 school districts.

In response to the objectives outlined in B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and the McDonald Report, the B.C. government has worked in partnership with the ITA to begin building a demand-driven trades-training system with funding aligned to specific in-demand trades.

The provincial government invests more than $94 million annually in industry training through the ITA. The ITA leads and co-ordinates British Columbia’s skilled trades system by working with employers, employees, industry, labour, training providers and government to issue credentials, manage apprenticeships, set program standards and increase opportunities in the trades.