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Student Apprentices Win Awards for Work in Trades

More than two dozen students from the District have earned the Ministry of Education’s Youth in Trades Award. The 27 students, who have now graduated, were awarded $1000 each to help them continue in their trade through a partial payment of tuition or the purchase of tools and supplies.

The youth are now apprenticing through the provincial crown corporation responsible for leading BC’s trades training system: the Industry Training Authority (ITA).

Learn more below the list of award winners and their photos.

The number of students receiving the Youth in Trades Award in the District has grown by one third from last year – up from 18 to 27 award recipients. Each student’s journey began when they decided to seize one of the unique opportunities available to them in the District: the chance to get exposed to a career while earning wages and credits toward graduation. It’s an increasingly popular choice, as explained by Paul Arthur who leads the District’s Career Education Program.

We are finding greater and greater interest from students in our programs along with interest from leaders in the business community who are connecting with us and inquiring if Youth Train in Trades students are available for apprenticeship.”

Through career education and a partnership with the ITA Youth Department and Ministry of Education, students can earn 16 credits and 480 hours towards their trade credential with hands-on and paid work experience. A record amount of 110 students and counting are registered so far this year for the Youth Train in Trades programs – with options ranging from professional cook to electrician. Additionally, nearly 500 students are enrolled in Youth Explore Skilled Trades courses in Grades 9 and 10 to get experience and see if they want to pursue the trade.

At a recent Burnaby Board of Education Meeting, Trustees celebrated the 27 Youth in Trades Award winners. Arthur shared this at the meeting about the students’ accomplishments:

These students embody excellence, commitment, and perseverance. Many of them completed post-secondary level courses while still in high school, earning Dogwood Diplomas while working as Level 1 Apprentices—no small feat.”

Tracey Wispinski, the District Youth Work in Trades Advisor, shared with Trustees how these opportunities have supported student success – and how one of the award recipients, Jonathan Wong, turned a part-time job while in high school into credits and a career.

Jonathan was working at Earls, and after a meeting with his Career Advisor at school he learned that he could connect his job to the Youth Work in Trades program while completing his Professional Cook Level 1 Foundation training at Burnaby Central. He finished last June as a leader in his class and now has more than 3000 hours in the kitchen, is working at Trattoria, and is well on his way to becoming a Red Seal Chef – all at 19.”

Student success, such as Jonathan’s, has led to further interest from employer sponsors in the community. For example, Earls is now a District partner for the Chef Training Program and is: sponsoring students with work experience, accepting applicants for vacancies, and transitioning them to apprenticeship.

Thank you to the businesses that provide opportunities to students in the Youth Work in Trades Apprenticeship Program and the more than 500 businesses that offer work experience to students.

Learn more about Career Education and other Programs of Choice in Burnaby Schools.


Posted November 2021