Only one in five BC trades employers hire apprentices — and an effort is underway to increase that.
The Greater Vernon Chamber and BC’s Industry Training Authority are teaming up to promote the benefits of apprenticeships.
The Chamber and ITA hosted an information session this week to provide information to employers in the skilled trades sector.
ITA’s local apprenticeship advisor Finbar O’Sullivan says they want to share the advantages of hiring apprentices who learn on the job.
“People are retiring, we’re retiring en masse. We have to train-up the next generation that’s going to fix the cars and build the houses, so it’s really important that companies do step up to the plate,” O’Sullivan tells Kiss FM.
O’Sullivan says he learned the benefits first-hand by putting eight apprentices through the program when he ran a shop.
“It gives back to my community. I’m making sure there is good, licensed, skilled trades people out there. And the other thing is, I really enjoyed helping young people, and helping them get that first job, and a job that has meaning.”
O’Sullivan says employers can be eligible for tax credits by taking on apprentices.
You can find out more at www.itabc.ca
The Chamber event included a panel of local employers, school district representatives, apprentices and industry who shared their experiences of hiring apprentices, how they overcame challenges and achieved success with apprenticeships, and how they’ve built loyalty amongst their employees.
Melanie Mark, advanced education, skills and training minister says apprentices add value to businesses with fresh ideas and innovation.
“Our government is working hard to provide more opportunities for apprenticeships, co-ops and work placements because we believe in the contributions of students and young workers in building a bright future for all British Columbians.”
Photo Caption: L-R: Steve Simon, SD22; Shelley Gray, ITA; Sarah Gregory & Tyeis Hodgins, Kingfisher Boats; Finbar O’Sullivan, ITA; Dan Proulx, Vernon Chamber.