As Apprentice Recognition Month draws to a close, the Delta School District is recognizing the more than 60 students (and their talented instructors) involved in apprentice programs at their respective high schools.
Students across the district are kick-starting their careers by either working in a skilled trade or beginning a post-secondary apprenticeship program, all while earning credits towards high school graduation.
The Youth Train in Trades program enables students to complete the in-class portion of a Level 1 apprenticeship, giving them a valuable head start on their apprenticeship. What’s more, the school district — in partnership with the Industry Training Authority (ITA) — covers the cost of the program, saving students and their families up to $3,500 in post-secondary tuition.
This semester, eight participating Grade 11 and 12 students from across the district are training to be auto service technicians at North Delta’s Seaquam Secondary, which has been designated as one of ITA’s official training locations.
“Students are learning to examine, test and repair the parts on cars,” program instructor Gordon Ryall said in a district news release. “Often they use computerized diagnostic equipment to test, adjust and repair key vehicle components such as struts, brakes, suspensions, steering systems, exhausts and electrical systems.
“The great thing about this program is that the curriculum they learn here at Seaquam is the same as that offered by any post-secondary institution in B.C.”
Most of the students in the program applied because they are thinking of pursuing a career as an auto service technician.
“Taking this course while still at high school provides a great opportunity to test it out and see what working in this trade full time would be like,” a student named Tanvir said in the release.
“It all sounds very simple, but when you actually get into it, the auto technician service program is far more complicated than you first realize,” added student Balroop.
Despite the heavy workload, the students are finding it to be an extremely positive experience.
“There’s always something new to learn. It’s great to get involved in real-life learning that will have value outside of the classroom,” said Rohan, another student in the program.
Despite coming from different high schools, the eight students have formed a tight knit group thanks to their common interest in cars and shared experience on the course, quipping they’re like a a small family.
“In fact, we probably see each other more than we see our own families,” they said.
When asked what advice they had for anyone thinking about getting involved in the program next year, the eight said students should come in with an open mind and be ready to learn.
“If you’re not sure about something, ask,” the students said. “And don’t over tighten screws and bolts.”
In February, more students will be starting their journeys to become electricians, carpenters, metal fabricators, welders and plumbers, among other professions.
Students interested in applying must do so before Spring Break. For more information on apprenticeship programs being offered, visit deltalearns.ca/careers.
Each Delta high school also has staff that can help students apply for the programs. Students who are curious about any of the career program options that the district offers should see their school’s career programs facilitator for more information.