Belmont graduate Dean Gustin receives the Vancouver Island Construction Association Secondary School Trade Apprenticeship Scholarship. Students and parents gathered to celebrate School District 62 students’ success in the trades. Gustin also received a Secondary School Apprenticeship Award of $1

Trades students follow a pathway to the podium

Programs offer a leg up for West Shore high school students

One by one, students approach a podium.

Youth participating in trades programs across School District 62 are gathered at Belmont secondary to be celebrated for their achievements in programming that district careers co-ordinator Roger Hargreaves said don’t get the credit they deserve.

“We recognize academics all the time, (but it’s) nice to see some other skill sets and knowledge being acknowledged as being important and worthy of this,” he said.

On this night, 10 students went home with $1,000 for successfully completing the more than 900 hours required for the Secondary School Apprenticeships (SSA) program. Two students went home with $500 as students recognized by their employers and the Vancouver Island Construction Association (VICA) for excellence, and 13 more received recognition from regional and provincial trades competitions.

“Students enter into a real apprenticeship, not just a course program,” Hargreaves said of the SSA. “They get course credits for being in that, the Ministry of Education recognized that’s valuable learning on the job.”

There are between 60 and 70 students participating in various trades programs in SD62 from Belmont, Royal Bay, Edward Milne and the Westshore Centre for Learning and Training. Apprenticeships can start for students in Grade 10 and as early as age 15. The average age of apprenticeship completion in B.C. is 28, but Hargreaves said students starting in high school can get it much sooner.

“A lot of these kids in the room, if they keep working, will have a very early apprenticeship when they are 21 or 22, which is a huge leg up on their buddies wondering what they are going to do with their lives,” he said. “They already have something in their back pocket.”

Dean Gustin is one of those students working towards an apprenticeship, having completed a year already. The Belmont graduate went home with $1,000 for completing his SSA, and $500 from VICA. At 19, he already has a union job working with sheet metal and is working towards his Red Seal. For those interested, he recommended getting into the trades in high school as he did.

“You don’t have the burden of student loans … I would absolutely jump on that; it’s a no brainer,” he said. “It’s really healthy here. There is a labour shortage this year, which is fantastic, because there is a lot of picking and choosing for jobs. It’s really good.”

Just Posted

Study moves Oak Bay closer to contraceptive control for problem deer

The report says between 78 and 128 black tail deer live in the affluent beach-side community

Crews repair damage after Tuesday night water main break in Langford

Flooding resulted in property damage, forced evacuation from Langford homes

Two missing Victoria children found safe

VicPD responded to two separate missing children calls Tuesday

Vancouver measles outbreak prompts vaccine vigilance on Island

Island health authorities push measles vaccinations - and not just for kids

UPDATED: Langford homes evacuated after water main break

Break at the corner of Goldstream Avenue and Strathmore Road, several homes without water

‘Riya was a dreamer’: Mother of slain 11-year-old Ontario girl heartbroken

Her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, 41, was arrested some 130 kilometres away

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of Feb. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Experts urge caution after 10 human-triggered avalanches across B.C.

One man is still stuck after avalanche on south coast

Police seize bottles of grapefruit vodka from wanted man’s snow-pants

The men were pushing two shopping carts with a woman inside

Tonight’s sporting event costs more than the Super Bowl, and Obama is going

Tickets are going for more than $4,000 to watch the Duke - North Carolina basketball game

CRTC report finds ‘misleading, aggressive’ sales tactics used by telecom industry

Report recommends measures to make a fairer situation for consumers

Police dog tracks suspect through wintry Vancouver Island backcountry

Assault suspect arrested after two-hour track by Nanaimo RCMP police dog Jager

Trudeau takes personal hit amid SNC-Lavalin controversy: poll

Overall, 41 per cent of respondents believed the prime minister had done something wrong in the affair

B.C. photographer captures otters on ice

A Langley photographer was at the right place at the right time on the Fraser River

Most Read