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More On-the-Ground Apprenticeship Advisors to Strengthen Apprenticeship System Across BC

Industry Training Authority introduces additional six regional Apprenticeship Advisors, including three Aboriginal-focused Apprenticeship Advisors

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwired) -- 09/04/14 -- The Industry Training Authority (ITA) has introduced an additional six regional Apprenticeship Advisors, who will act as on-the-ground resources for apprentices and employer sponsors in the Lower Mainland, Victoria/South Island, Kamloops, Dawson Creek and Cranbrook. This brings the total number of ITA Apprenticeship Advisors to 10; there will be a total of 15 by the end of December 2014. Five Advisors will focus on recruiting and supporting Aboriginal apprentices within local communities in addition to providing support to both local trades apprentices and local employer sponsors.

The Apprenticeship Advisors serve as an extension of the ITA Customer Support team, with the primary responsibility of providing regional support to apprentices and sponsors, creating a positive impact on continuation and completion rates for apprentices in local communities.

By the end of September 2014, ITA will have 10 Apprenticeship Advisors located in Cranbrook, Dawson Creek, Kamloops, Kelowna, Nanaimo, Prince George, Terrace, Vancouver / Lower Mainland and Victoria regions.

ITA is currently recruiting five additional Apprenticeship Advisors to increase support to the following regions: North East Region (Prince George), North West Region (Prince Rupert) and three in the Lower Mainland to service Greater Vancouver, the Tri-Cities area and the Fraser Valley. To find out more about the role or to apply, please visit www.itabc.ca/careers.

"Apprenticeship Advisors are key to helping employers and apprentices navigate B.C.'s apprenticeship system and increasing the number of apprenticeship opportunities throughout the province," says Minister Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour. "Through our B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint, we are committed to having 15 Apprenticeship Advisors hired before the end of the year. With these new additions, we are very close to meeting that goal."

"We welcome these new additions to our rapidly expanding ITA Apprenticeship Advisors team," says Gary Herman, CEO, Industry Training Authority. "Local Apprenticeship Advisors have already proven to be essential to both apprentices and industry. We're also excited about the Apprenticeship Advisors who can focus on bringing more opportunities in the trades to Aboriginal communities."

Three of the Apprenticeship Advisors, who are located in Cranbrook, Kamloops and Vancouver's North Shore area, will also work on initiatives to support Aboriginal people throughout the province. By the end of December 2014, there will be five Aboriginal-focused Apprenticeship Advisors in place.

"Adding Apprenticeship Advisors who are focused on supporting Aboriginal apprentices builds on ITA's commitment to strengthen Aboriginal engagement, which we began in 2007," says Gary McDermott, Director Aboriginal Initiatives, ITA. "Having the advisors support Aboriginal apprentices will help to increase the number of Aboriginal people both entering into trades careers and completing through to certification."

Lower Mainland - North Shore

Shannon Hanson is an experienced case manager, apprenticeship advisor and Certified Career Development Practitioner. Most recently, she has been working as a Job Coach and Labour Market Agreement Coordinator with the Musqueam Indian Band.

Lower Mainland - South Fraser

Dal Dhatt, an internal employee of ITA, has been the Administrator for Youth Initiatives, responsible for overseeing the Accelerated Credit Enrolment in Industry Training (ACE IT) and Secondary School Apprenticeship (SSA) programs for the past seven years.

Victoria/South Island

Kyle Preston is a certified Red Seal journeyman, an experienced advisor and a former Apprenticeship Instructor with the Greater Victoria School District.

Kamloops

Helen Poss has experience in the employment services field as a trades consultant and as an employment placement specialist and facilitator. She has worked with the BC Construction Association and the BC Shuswap Nation Tribal Council.

Dawson Creek

Pam Eales brings over 15 years of experience in post-secondary education, trades and apprenticeship training. She was the Associate Dean of Vocational Programs, the Associate Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship, and the Coordinator of Trades and Apprenticeship for Northern Lights College.

Cranbrook

Marlin Ratch has a background in Red Seal Chef training, and has sat on several labour market-based boards. Most recently, he was Director, Employment & Training with the Metis Nation of British Columbia.

The introduction of the Apprenticeship Advisor initiative was the result of an in-depth, province-wide consultation into apprenticeship supports in 2013 that included input from multiple stakeholders. It is also in direct response to the recently launched B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint as well as recommendations made in The Industry Training Authority and Trades Training in BC: Recalibrating for High Performance (the McDonald Report).

About ITA

The Industry Training Authority (ITA) leads and coordinates British Columbia's skilled trades system. ITA works with employers, employees, industry, labour, training providers and government to issue credentials, manage apprenticeships, set program standards and increase opportunities in the trades. ITA is also a key collaborator in the provincial government's 10-year skills training plan, the B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint, which sets out a plan for re-engineering our education and training system to support our growing and changing economy and to help British Columbians take full advantage of the opportunities presented by these changes.

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