Kyle Preston, left, congratulates SD79’s Larry Mattin, centre, and his team on the Careers and Transitions Program for their exceptional success in guiding students towards careers in various trades. The program has received $5,000 in recognition of its efforts. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)

Cowichan school district apprentice program gets $5K award

At the Feb. 5 Board of Education meeting, the Cowichan Valley School District’s Careers and Transitions Program received a $5,000 award from Industry Training Authority recognizing the consistent and excellent work their Youth Work In Trades program has done over the past year.

The program helps students who are looking for a career in the trades by offering the opportunity to do both Youth Work In Trades (Formerly SSA or Youth Apprenticeships) and Youth Train in Trades (formerly ACE IT) while in their Grades 10, 11, and 12 school years. Youth Train in Trades programs run between four and 12 months depending upon the trade.

The program, once successfully completed, gives the student his or her first year of apprenticeship training or certification. For example, the seven-month Vancouver Island University Professional Cook 1 program leads to a VIU Culinary certificate.

The Cowichan Valley School District is again one of the top districts in the province for both number and percentage of students in this program, according to program team leader, Larry Mattin.

With a student population of only 7,789, the district is fourth in the province with 258 students registred in Industry Training Authority Programs, behind only Abbottsford, Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows, and Surrey, and ahead of such large districts as Vancouver, Coquitlam, and Langley.

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