November 20, 2015 - 11:30 AM
KAMLOOPS – The Kamloops business community is taking steps to ensure young people are trained for the jobs of the future.
The Kamloops Chamber of Commerce has joined forces with the Industry Training Authority to increase the apprenticeship opportunities in the city.
Chamber president Steve Earl says there was a match between the goals of his organization and the training authority.
“The trades and apprenticeships are very, very important to our economy," Earl says. "We look towards these opportunities… when you can bring those young people in who are trying to grow and move ahead… apprenticeship programs are really fantastic opportunities.”
The two groups hope to raise awareness of the benefits of hiring apprentices.
Industry Training Authority CEO Gary Herman says there are two kinds of employers: those who hire apprentices and see the value in the program, and those who don’t.
“The ones who get it say the same two things… ‘if we don’t train them, who else is going to train them?’ and then they say ‘it’s our responsibility to train the skilled trades people of tomorrow’,” he says.
Herman says he himself started his career in as an apprentice and believes training programs create "future business leaders."
Venture Kamloops hired consultants to conduct a study of the labour market in the Thompson Cariboo recently. The region is predicted to have 30,000 to 35,000 vacancies in ten years, with roughly 70 percent of these jobs requiring post-secondary or skills training.
The report identified tradespeople as the most in demand occupation, estimating over 5,000 workers will be needed will be needed by 2025.
Kamloops Thompson School District and Thompson Rivers University have discussed the creation of a new program called an Industrial Sampler. This program at NorKam Trades and Technology Centre will include machinist, industrial pipefitter and scaffolding training.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015