There will be an intake for the Construction Craft Worker program on Jan. 30, 2023, with sponsorships for tuition and tools offered to prospective students. (Contributed)

There will be an intake for the Construction Craft Worker program on Jan. 30, 2023, with sponsorships for tuition and tools offered to prospective students. (Contributed)

Salmon Arm Trades Centre at Okanagan College offers sponsored construction careers

Tuition and tools covered, help with meals and transportation available for prospective students

Students at the Salmon Arm campus of Okanagan College will be able to access sponsored training for careers in construction at the end of this month.

People with limited or no previous experience in trades can apply for the Construction Craft Worker program that begins on Jan. 30, 2023 at Okanagan College’s Salmon Arm Trades Centre. The program is 10 weeks long and fully sponsored, which means tuition and tools are covered and additional funding is in place for students who meet certain criteria and need help with meals and transportation. The criteria include being under-skilled, unemployed or partially employed.

“This new program is supporting students to gain the skills they need now, helping them get good jobs in industries where communities need them,” said Selina Robinson, minister of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills, in a media release. “The training and education people receive at Okanagan College will also set them up for the long term, because skilled trades professionals are critical to the ongoing health and growth of the economy in this region and across the province.”

Construction craft workers perform many tasks on job sites, including preparing and cleaning the site, site security, operating equipment and monitoring safety. They also handle materials like concrete and steel and do masonry work.

“This new program in Salmon Arm shows how working together with partners and decision-makers supports people who are looking for more training to help them advance in their careers,” said Okanagan College President Neil Fassina in the release.

Okanagan College received $98,380 in funding from the Community Workforce Response Grant program to offer the training. The funding is provided by the Government of Canada through the Canada-BC Workforce Development Agreement and the province.

“It can be hard to break into the trades,” said Irene Kerr, president and CEO of BC Infrastructure Benefits. “That’s why we look for opportunities like this one, ways to bring people into the sector. This program will introduce people to a newly regulated trade and help them build their careers and futures.”

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