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Student Apprentices in Northern BC

NEWS RELEASE - Ministry of Advanced Education

Nov. 5, 2015
Apprenticeships delivering results for students in northern B.C.

NORTHERN B.C. - A survey of former apprenticeship students shows that 91% of students who completed their training at public post-secondary institutions in northern British Columbia stayed in the North while earning a median hourly wage of $31.

Highlights from the 2014 Apprenticeship Student Outcomes Survey for public post-secondary institutions in northern B.C. (i.e., College of New Caledonia, Northwest Community College and Northern Lights College combined) include:

* 86% of former apprenticeship students who responded were employed.

* 94% of respondents were "very satisfied" or "satisfied" with their in-school training.

* 16% of respondents were female, the highest level of any region in B.C.

* 59% of former apprenticeship students eligible to be surveyed in the region were in one of three program groups: welding and precision production (28%), industrial and heavy duty mechanics and other repair trades (16%), carpentry (15%).

The 2014 Apprenticeship Student Outcomes Survey is the tenth annual survey of former apprenticeship students. A total of 5,698 apprentices who completed their apprenticeship training at a B.C. public or private post-secondary institution between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2013, were eligible. The survey was conducted from January to May 2014. There were 3,046 apprenticeship respondents throughout the province, for a response rate of 53%.

There were 169 respondents from College of New Caledonia, 77 from Northwest Community College and 64 from Northern Lights College for a total of 310 respondents from public post-secondary institutions in northern B.C.

British Columbia will need more skilled tradespeople in the years ahead. Taking steps now to encourage employers to sponsor apprentices is an important way to address the workforce needs of the province. It is critical for youth and others looking to get into the workforce to have employers who are willing to help them achieve their certification.

Quotes:

Andrew Wilkinson, Minister of Advanced Education -

"This survey confirms that northern apprenticeship programs are producing skilled tradespeople who want to stay in the region where they trained. Apprentices are also finding jobs that pay the highest wages of any region in the province."

Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour, and MLA for Prince George-Valemount -

"Attracting and retaining skilled workers to northern B.C. is a challenge. The best way to ensure we have the workforce we need is to train students in the North. This greatly increases the chance they will stay and support our growing economy right here in our region."

Eric DeVries, former Northern Lights College apprenticeship student -

"I enjoyed my time at Northern Lights College, taking their 4th-class power engineering and gas process operations course. It helped me prepare for my new career in the oil and gas sector, and was instrumental in allowing me to obtain employment right out of college. I would highly recommend this course to anyone pursuing an entry into the sector."

Bryn Kulmatycki, president and CEO, Northern Lights College -

"It's a great program for students! Through student financial support to relocate and train in the North via the Government of B.C.'s jobs plan, a student such as Eric reduced his career delay by up to a year, which translates into a year of income that would otherwise be lost."

Mike Bernier, MLA for Peace River South -

"Our government is committed to preparing a skilled workforce that our growing economy needs. These survey results show how much British Columbians can benefit from fantastic jobs here in northern B.C., the heartland of natural resource development."

John Rustad, MLA for Nechako Lakes -

"In order to keep people in our region, we need to continue to invest in skills training. Creating accessibility to getting rewarding, high-paying jobs will help keep students in our region."

Pat Pimm, MLA for Peace River North -

"Our region provides people with a fantastic quality of life, a big part of which comes from having access to the skills training needed to get in-demand jobs."

Mike Morris, MLA for Prince George-Mackenzie -

"These survey results illustrate that our government's long-term vision to equip students with the skills they will need to participate in our strong, growing and diverse economy is working.

Learn More:

Province-wide highlights of the 2014 Apprenticeship Student Outcomes Survey can be viewed in the BC Student Outcomes: The 2014 Highlights report at: http://outcomes.bcstats.gov.bc.ca/Publications/AboutPublications.aspx

To view the 2014 Apprenticeship Student Outcomes Survey Report of Findings, which focuses on traditional apprenticeships, visit: http://outcomes.bcstats.gov.bc.ca/WhatsNew/15-09-18/2014_Apprenticeship_Survey_Report_of_Findings.aspx

Traditional apprentices must complete all levels of training before they can write their certification exams.

The B.C. Access Grant for Labour Market Priorities allows students to access trades training, and includes a component for eligible students wishing to relocate to attend an eligible public institution: https://studentaidbc.ca/explore/grants-scholarships/bc-access-grant-labour-market-priorities

Media Contact:

Trish Fougner
Communications Manager
Ministry of Advanced Education
250 952-6400

Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect

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