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.”

alim@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Cycslists were all smiles during ninth Tour de Victoria

More than 2,100 cyclists participated

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after Const. Beckett’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Police investigating incident in Saanich neighbourhood

Neighbours tell Black Press Media that a body has been found, but police remain tight-lipped.

Langford lizard sighting excites Victoria museum curator

Curator of vertebrate zoology/knowledge explains the spread of the Wall lizard in the region

Colwood man takes on Ride to Conquer Cancer for 11th year in a row

Team Finn has raised almost $3 million for BC Cancer Foundation

VIDEO: Langley Ribfest met with protesters

Groups that oppose the event for various reasons plan to be on site each of the three days.

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Ferries employees participating in Denman Island cleanup for plastic-shedding ferry

The cleanup comes a few weeks after one organized by residents of the Island

Discussion on grief and loss between Stephen Colbert, Anderson Cooper goes viral

The exchange includes emotional question from Cooper, and outlook on grief as a child

Toronto activist calling on federal parties to nominate more black candidates

Fewer than 20 black Canadians have been nominated so far, including some Liberal MPs seeking re-election

Most Read