SOURCE: Industry Training Authority

Industry Training Authority

September 14, 2015 16:40 ET

BC Invests in "Earn While You Learn" High School Apprenticeship Programs

More Youth Needed in Skilled Trades to Offset the Number of Tradespeople Retiring

VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - September 14, 2015) - Industry Training Authority (ITA) is investing over $1.3 million across the province to fund the Secondary School Apprenticeship Program (SSA). This year, 26 school districts across BC have been approved to receive $20,000 to $40,000 each in funding (see Backgrounder).

SSA is a dual credit program that provides BC students in grades 10, 11 and 12 with the opportunity to get a jump start on their apprenticeship journey. Students start their work based training component of an apprenticeship program with an employer sponsor while still in high school. Students "earn while they learn" receiving credit toward both a high school diploma while accumulating apprenticeship hours that are used towards their trade certification.

Allocation of SSA funding continues to reflect regional and school districts' needs. These funding opportunities directly support the goals of BC's Skills for Jobs Blueprint to realign training investment to better prepare BC'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.

Last year's SSA registration numbers were the highest they have been since the 2009 pre-recession years. In 2014-15, 1048 students registered in SSA programs across BC representing an increase of more than 10% over 2013-14.

"The Secondary School Apprenticeship Program is a great example of how we can give young people the chance to gain the necessary skills for future job openings in B.C. This is the same reason why we implemented the new Apprentices on Public Projects policy last May, and we will continue to work with our stakeholders to expand these opportunities for youth," says Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour. "This program provides students with more choice and the chance to acquire the skills necessary to be successful in the job market."

"The world is changing and B.C. parents need to know we are preparing young people to succeed for life beyond school," says Mike Bernier, Minister of Education. "This new investment in high school apprenticeship programs throughout the province, will help ensure students get the support they need to access hands-on trades training and be first in line for jobs in our growing economy."

"The youth play a pivotal role in sustaining BC's future economic boom," says Gary Herman, CEO, ITA. "There are more skilled tradespeople retiring from the workforce than entering it so we need to support the youth in trades training so that they are ready to respond to the increasing demand in the labour market."

"Preparing our youth for a successful career in skilled trades is important for our communities and the province," says Erin Johnston, Director, Training Investment, ITA. "We will continue to work with the Ministry of Education to sustain impactful programs for our trades students, providing them with the right resources to discover and excel in skilled trades."

About ITA Youth Programs
In 2015-16, ITA is investing over $5 Million in Youth Trades Training programs. ITA partners with the Ministry of Education to deliver four youth programs focused on awareness building of trades careers, practical work experience and apprenticeship technical training.

  • SKILLS EXPLORATION 10-12: Provides hands-on experience for grades 10 - 12 students interested in trying different trades before enrolling in a high-school apprenticeship programs (ACE IT and SSA).
  • ACE IT (Accelerated Credit Enrolment in Industry Training; grades 11 - 12): Provides students with both graduation credits and credit for the first level of apprenticeship technical training.
  • SSA (Secondary School Apprenticeship; grades 10 - 12): Through SSA, students work in their trade as a paid apprentice, while earning credits toward high school graduations. Students may also be eligible to receive a $1,000 scholarship.
  • YES 2 IT (Youth Exploring Skills to Industry Training; grades (5-10): Provides meaningful, hands-on opportunities for students to explore career options in the trades at fun and interactive events.

Additionally, in partnership with UBC Okanagan's Innovative Learning Centre, ITA is delivering Maker Days to bring trades and technology to the classroom with hands-on learning that encourages invention, prototyping and experimenting.

About the Industry Training Authority
The Industry Training Authority (ITA) leads and coordinates British Columbia's skilled trades system. ITA works with employers, employees, industry, labour, training providers and government to issue credentials, manage apprenticeships, set program standards and increase opportunities in the trades. ITA is also a key collaborator in the B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint, which sets out a plan for re-engineering our education and training system to support our growing and changing economy and to help British Columbians take full advantage of the opportunities presented by these changes.


In 2015-16, ITA is investing over $1.3 million for the Secondary School Apprenticeship Program (SSA) program which includes support funding for school districts, scholarships and dual registration grants. The following 26 school districts are eligible to receive a total of $770,000 of SSA support funding and over $500,000 is available for scholarships and dual registration grants (awarded later in the school year).

SD 27 Cariboo Chilcotin$20,000
SD 33 Chilliwack$30,000
SD 34 Abbotsford$40,000
SD 35 Langley$40,000
SD 37 Delta$40,000
SD 38 Richmond$40,000
SD 39 Vancouver$40,000
SD 40 New Westminster$30,000
SD 41 Burnaby$40,000
SD 43 Coquitlam$40,000
SD 45 West Vancouver$30,000
SD 53 Okanagan Similkameen$20,000
SD 57 Prince George$30,000
SD 59 Peace River South$20,000
SD 62 Sooke$30,000
SD 63 Saanich$30,000
SD 64 Gulf Islands$20,000
SD 68 Nanaimo Ladysmith$40,000
SD 69 Qualicum$20,000
SD 71 Comox Valley$30,000
SD 73 Kamloops/Thompson$30,000
SD 75 Mission$20,000
SD 81 Fort Nelson$20,000
SD 82 Coast Mountains$20,000
SD 83 North Okanagan Shuswap$30,000
SD 85 Vancouver Is. North$20,000

Contact Information

  • For interviews or more information, please contact:

    Susan Kirk
    Director of Communications
    Tel: 778.785.2410
    Cell: 604.315.9959

    Kyla Way
    Edelman Vancouver
    Tel: 604.648.3447
    Cell: 604.613.6413