Students in the Sea to Sky School District will soon have extra help connecting with trades and technical training thanks to a provincial grant.
The provincial government granted $50,000 — to be split between School Districts 48 and 45 — to launch the "Shoulder Tappers" program.
Each district will get $25,000 to enlist career coordinators and recruitment specialists who will work closely with students to connect them to training and on-the-ground experience.
"For us, it's really an opportunity to support the further development of engaging, relevant learning opportunities for our students, (and) allow them to develop competencies, pursue excellence and get them ready for the workforce with job-ready skills," said Peter Jory, the district's director of instruction.
The district runs three dual-credit programs at the moment, each with between eight and 14 students, but "our mandate and our interest is to grow these programs," Jory said.
"We're looking at adding to the list of opportunities, and it would be our preference to run them at full capacity if possible."
There are many reasons students might be interested in the trades, Jory said.
"For a lot of our kids, sitting in an office or doing a very repetitive task wouldn't be very appealing to them over the long term," he said. "And when you get a trade you have a chance for, in many cases, lots of variety, lots of autonomy, you get to be creative, you get to problem-solve.
"I don't think you're ever stuck. I think people in the trades have great
opportunity to move around if they want to, to seek different kinds of opportunities, and I think the flexibility would be something that would appeal to a lot of students."
The district also supports students interested in the trades through work experience and apprenticeship programs, Jory said. Students interested in learning more can contact their school counsellor.