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North Vancouver high-school students getting a head-start from partnerships

Staff writer |
High-school students in North Vancouver are getting a head-start in hands-on trades training at the Squamish Nation Trade Centre through a new ACE IT Piping Foundation program.

The program is possible through a B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint partnership involving the Squamish First Nation, the Industry Training Authority (ITA), Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU), North Vancouver school district 44 and the private sector.

More than 15 students from North Vancouver's Mountainside Secondary school from a diversity of backgrounds, including the Squamish First Nation, are enrolled in the inaugural 23-week trades training program.

The Accelerated Credit Enrolment in Industry Training program (ACE IT), allows students to take their first level of technical training in certain trades while at the same time giving them high school credits needed for graduation.

Students in the ACE IT Piping Foundation program will earn hours toward Level 1 certification in three trades: plumbing, sprinkler fitting and steam/pipefitting. They will also get a real-world perspective on the piping trades by job shadowing workers at Christian Labour Association of Canada and other unions and employers.

B.C.'s Labour Market Outlook to 2022 projects there will be one million job openings, driven by retirements and a growing economy, many of them in skilled trades and technical occupations. Pipefitters and sprinkler system installers are in the top 60 of projected in-demand occupations to meet future labour force needs.

A key Blueprint goal is to increase the number of people participating in all apprentice youth programs to 5,000 by raising awareness of skills and trades training. It is one way the government can help ensure British Columbians gain the skills they need to qualify for in demand jobs, allowing them to support families, communities and help keep B.C.'s diverse economy strong and growing.

Funding for this partnership comes from both the ITA, and KPU's faculty of trades & technology. KPU is also providing academic expertise and instructors. Equipment was purchased using private-sector donations, and through support from the Squamish First Nation and KPU. The Squamish First Nation is providing the training facility.

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