Trades and Transitions During the Pandemic

Posted On Thursday October 15, 2020

Students in the Trades and Transition (TNT) program are working with additional layers of health and safety protocols so they can keep learning and working during the pandemic.

Almost 50 TNT students are at Thompson Rivers University this semester, earning their foundation certification in a number of trades, and numbers are up in the early childhood and health education programs where students are getting their diplomas during their grade 12 year. At NorKam Senior Secondary, about 90 TNT students in the Trades Sampler program are exploring opportunities in related industries. At Sa-Hali Secondary, TNT students are studying computer programming in the context of game design and getting university credit for those programs. In addition, there are about 180 TNT students in the Youth Work in Trades program, where they are taking their trades-related work and connecting that to high school course credits and a head start on apprenticeships.

“For students in the Youth Work in Trades program, we contact every employer to ensure they are following WorkSafe BC’s COVID-19 protocols in their workplace,” said Rob Wielgoz, District Vice Principal for Trades and Transitions. “We also check in with the students to make sure they understand their rights and their own responsibility towards safety.”

Wielgoz said hairstyling program students are working with salons and learning about the restrictions put in place for safe operations. High school students who are in programs at TRU  have rules in place from the Ministry of Education, Skills and Training, and the Public Health Office, and the Trades Sampler program at NorKam follows both the K-12 safety protocols and the post-secondary safety protocols.

“Students are learning what it’s like to work in industry during the pandemic,” said Wielgoz.

“Enrolment has been robust this year so there has been some real excitement, and together with our partners at Thompson Rivers University and the Industry Training Authority we have devised ways to deliver these programs in a COVID-sensitive manner. This means students still get that chance for a hands-on experiential learning, and they have these opportunities to invest in their futures in a trades-related or a dual credit program in a way that is compliant with all provincial safety regulations.”

Wielgoz said he’s seeing that students are actively pursuing learning opportunities with an authentic connection to their post-secondary ambitions.

“This year in particular with the distance learning and online learning that we had in the spring, many students have a yearning to connect and have their hands-on things and invest in a meaningful way in their learning and the Trades and Transition program offers that connection.”

To find out more about Trades and Transitions programs, check tnt.sd73.bc.ca, or talk with a Trades and Transitions coordinator at any secondary school in the district.

 

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