Okanagan school districts receive thousands for trades programs

The money is part of $1.37 million given to fifty-one school districts for trades programs

Local school districts throughout the Okanagan have received thousands of dollars from the provincial government to help young people learn important trade skills.

The Central Okanagan School District received $40,000, the North Okanagan-Shuswap School District received $30,000 while the Okanagan Similkameen and the Okanagan Skaha school districts received $20,000 each.

The money is part of $1.37 million given to 51 school districts and independent schools across the province for trades programs for the 2019-20 school year.

It is also part of a larger pool of money ($12.4 million) earmarked for seven new programs to helps thousands of youth, women and under-represented groups to get the training and support they need for apprenticeships and employment in the skilled trades.

Okanagan College also received $1.5 million for its Women in Trades Training Program.

“Our government is committed to moving the dial for women, young people and under-represented groups who want to reap the economic benefits of a good paying, family-supporting career in the trades,” wrote Melanie Mark, minister of advanced education, skills and training.

“We value the tradespeople who work hard every day to keep our lights on, our homes warm and our cars running. These new programs will open pathways to opportunity for young people who wish to pursue their dream careers in the trades, while also ensuring employers have access to an industry-ready labour force to continue building the best B.C.”

According to the 2018 Labour Market Outlook, it projected nearly 71,000 trades job would open in the province over the next 10 years and skilled workers, including millwrights, heavy-duty mechanics and carpenters would be in high demand.

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