Edward Milne community school, in partnership with Camosun College, is offering students a comprehensive trades program that will fast track them into the industry.
The Trades Awareness Skills Knowledge (TASK) program will give students training in areas like carpentry, plumbing, electrical, insulation and painting.
The program is dual credit, meaning students will receive credits for high school and Camosun College.
“It’s going to cover all the basic trades to get into your first year apprenticeship at Camosun College,” said Mike Huck, Edward Milne community school vice-principal.
To facilitate the program, students will be building community projects commissioned by local residents once a week.
Huck said people can request a variety of small carpentry projects like decks and outdoor storage structures.
“We’re going to build them here, and then transport them out onto other people’s homes, and put them up,” he said.
Huck added students will also receive industry trades certificates like WHIMIS, first aid, and flagging and confined spaces certification.
“We’re hopefully going to be able to prepare them for work in the summertime and then they jump right into the apprenticeship.”
TASK, which was developed by the high school and Camosun College, was instituted to meet the requests of students.
“We’re just filling a void, I think, creating this trade program in our community so they don’t have to go into town or somewhere else to get the training that we could provide here,” Huck said.
Corinna Zimmermann, drafting, metalwork and TASK teacher, said many students have expressed an interest in the new program.
“I can see it from the classes that I’ve been teaching already that there is a lot of interest; when I ask students what are they interested in doing after finishing school, a lot of them say trades,” she said.
Zimmermann also said the program will adequately prepare students for a post-secondary education in trades.
“A lot of post-secondary institutions have said that they’re finding that kids going into trades programs don’t have the kind of hands-on intuition that they had 10 or so many years ago,” she said.
“A lot of kids don’t have the home environment they used to, playing with mechanics in the home shed or using those skills at home.”
She believes TASK will help, “kids to fine tune those skills and the intuition of how to use tools safely so that they’re more prepped when they go into a trades program at the secondary level.”
Instructors from Camosun College will also be teaching two days a week alongside Zimmermann.
The first semester of TASK will begin on Feb. 4 until July. The program is open to students in Grades 10 to 12.
To request a community project, contact Huck at 250-642-5211.