Industry Training Authority

Industry Training Authority

November 04, 2013 10:10 ET

Growing BC's Skilled Workforce: ITA Launches New Youth Mentorship Program

Program supports young apprentices in launching trades careers

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Nov. 4, 2013) - The Industry Training Authority (ITA) has announced a new youth mentoring pilot program that will connect youth trade apprentices with certified tradespeople. The program, called the Mentorship Project, is for grade 12 students and new high school graduates who are enrolled in Accelerated Credit Enrolment in Industry Training (ACE IT) or Secondary School Apprenticeship (SSA). The goal is to support young apprentices to continue along the Apprenticeship pathway following high-school graduation.

The Mentorship Project pilot will match approximately 50 Youth Apprentices with an experienced apprentice or journeyperson Mentor in the regions of Kitimat/Terrace, North Okanagan, and Vancouver. The program will be launched in the coming weeks and run until spring 2014. Participants will be expected to spend 15 hours-or approximately 30 minutes per week-together. The mentors will help students bridge the transition from high school to the adult apprenticeship system by offering guidance, support, and encouragement. The youth apprentices will be matched with mentors based on a number of criteria, including their location, chosen trade, and interests.

"Providing an opportunity for journey people to support, mentor and coach high-school students as they launch their trades career will provide a vital link in supporting the transition into the skilled trades. For employers, it's about succession planning and creating a culture of mentorship that helps organizations retain young talent," says Erin Johnston, director Training Delivery, ITA.

To prepare for their role, Mentors will be screened and receive in-person and online training on a range of topics to help them be more effective in their role, and to create a culture of mentoring in the workplace. Youth apprentices will also have the opportunity to attend workshops on a wide variety of topics, including employability, job readiness, communications, and conflict resolution.

"We believe the Mentorship Project will better enable our future automotive professionals to advance from their secondary school programs into a successful automotive career, that would include certification and beyond," says Glenn Vollhoffer, president and CEO, Automotive Standards Training Organization.

"ITA is delighted to launch the Mentorship Program," says Gary Herman, interim CEO, ITA. "This program is one of a number of initiatives resulting from our extensive consultation with industry, parents, youth apprentices, and other key stakeholders, in the Apprenticeship process. " We are especially pleased to launch this during national Skilled Trades and Technology Week when there is a focus on career opportunities in Trades and Technology. There has never been a better time in British Columbia to consider a career in the trades, and I especially invite young people who may be thinking this is a great option for them to visit our Facebook page and website, and learn more about how ITA can support them in their journey."

The Mentorship program is available to Grade 12 students who are currently enrolled in ACE-IT or SSA, or recently graduated from either program. Students and Qualified Tradespeople can apply online at www.itabc.ca/mentorship or email mentorship-project@itabc.ca for more information.

About ITA

The Industry Training Authority (ITA) manages BC's industrial trades training and certification system, and works with employers, employees, industry, labour, training providers and governments to increase opportunities in the trades. www.itabc.ca.

Media please note: Interviews are available with the following:

Gary Herman, Interim CEO, ITA

Erin Johnston, Director Training Delivery ITA

Glenn Vollhoffer, President & CEO, Automotive Standards Training Organization

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