Did you know you can start your apprenticeship while still in high school?

Category: DistrictSchool

Delta School District, in partnership with the Industry Training Authority (ITA) and Ministry of Education, offers two programs that enable students to begin an apprenticeship while still at high school.

Our Train in Trades program allows students to earn between 8 to 24 graduation credits. The school district will even pay for students’ tuition for their foundation program.

Students can start the program in Grade 11 or 12 at different times of the year depending on the course:

  • Auto Service Technician: September all school year (Grade 11/12)
  • Professional Cook: September all school year (Grade 11/12)
  • Electrician: February – July for 24 weeks @ BCIT ND Campus (Grade 12)
  • Millwright: February – August for 24 weeks @Kwantlen Cloverdale (Grade 12)
  • Welder: February – August for 28 weeks @ Kwantlen Cloverdale (Grade 12)
  • Baking & Pastry Arts: August – July to December @ VCC Downtown (Grade 11/12)
  • Carpenter: February – July for 23 weeks@ BCIT Willingdon (Grade 12)
  • Motorcycle: February – July for 20 weeks@ BCIT Willingdon (Grade 12)
  • Plumber: February – June for 21 weeks @ Kwantlen Cloverdale (Grade 11/12)
  • Metal Fabricator: February – July for 23 weeks@ BCIT Willingdon (Grade 12)
  • Automotive Body & Collision Repair: February – June for 20 weeks @ VCC Broadway (Grade 11/12)
  • Commercial Painter: June – July for 6 weeks @ Finishing Trades Institute

Our Work in Trades program allows students to begin the work-based training component of an apprenticeship program while still in high school, enabling them to earn as they learn. They can earn up to 16 graduation credits on this program. Students have to be at least 15 years old and can start as early as the summer between Grade 10 and 11. And if they complete 900 work hours and maintain a C+ average in their Grade 12 courses they are eligible for a $1,000 scholarship!

For this program, students need to find an employer with a certified journeyperson in their trade who will hire them and sponsor their apprenticeship.

Both of these programs provide a smooth transition from school to work and a quicker route to trades certification. Students should talk to their career advisor for more information. Check out these two-minute videos for an overview of the programs:

But don’t take our word for it. Find out more from one of our students!

Abbi is a Grade 12 student at Seaquam Secondary who is currently in the Auto Service Program.

Abbi’s decision to get into trades was influenced by her grandfather. “He always liked cars and worked in car dealerships. He played a major role in my upbringing and so I always wanted to do everything he was doing. He got me involved in changing car tires and batteries, and something just clicked… I knew this was something I wanted to do.”

As a woman pursuing a career in trades, Abbi’s goal is to break the stereotype that it’s only men that do trades. “I wanted to do something that I felt passionate about and that I’m good at doing. I love working with my hands. I’m really good at thinking ahead, and so I thought that mechanics would be a great career for me. My ultimate goal is to open my own business and employ other female mechanics.”

Abbi was pleased to find that the Auto Service program offers a good balance between classwork and shop work. She recently completed work experience at a local Canadian Tire and has been invited back for their hiring session this June. She is hoping to apprentice there while completing the BCIT five-year school program.

“My time at Canadian Tire was the best work-related job that I have had. They welcomed me with open arms and warm hearts. I learned so much – from thinking of alternative solutions to complex problems to dealing with customers. By the end of my time there, I was doing oil changes like I’ve been doing them since I was born!”

Abbi offers some great advice to others, particularly female students, thinking of a career in the trades. “Don’t let anyone talk you down or question why you’re there. Be who you are. Be confident in yourself and go after what you want.”

Stay tuned! Over the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing more profiles of some of our Train in Trades and Work in Trades students.