The Industry Training Authority (ITA) has hired an apprenticeship advisor to act as an on-the-ground resource for local apprentices and employers in the Lower Mainland, South Fraser region (Surrey, White Rock, Richmond and Delta).
The hiring is part of ITA’s increased efforts to build awareness and knowledge of the B.C. apprenticeship system and to provide guidance to both local trades apprentices and local employer sponsors who have questions or concerns, or who need support in some capacity.
Dal Dhatt will begin his role as ITA’s apprenticeship advisor in the Lower Mainland, servicing Surrey, White Rock, Richmond and Delta at the end of September. 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.
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 apprenticeship. Key responsibilities include building knowledge of the B.C. apprenticeship system, advising apprentices and sponsors, boosting apprentice success, and supporting apprentice and sponsor connections.
By the end of September, 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.
“By working closely with local communities and regions, Apprenticeship Advisors play an important role in making B.C.’s apprenticeship system more accessible and inclusive,” said Shirley Bond, minister for Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and minister responsible for labour. “This work is critical to increasing the number of apprentices available in high demand sectors, and a key part of our blueprint for putting British Columbians first in line for jobs.”
“Dal Dhatt is in a great position to help raise awareness about the value of being an apprentice,” said Surrey-Panorma MLA Marvin Hunt. “The role will also allow him to educate employers about the importance of creating apprenticeship positions within their business.”
The apprenticeship advisor initiative is a direct 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 The Industry Training Authority and Trades Training in BC: Recalibrating for High Performance (the McDonald Report), which recommended having a total of 15 apprenticeship advisors across the province in place by December 2014.
“Apprentices and employer sponsors are fundamental in ensuring that we have skilled workers in the the South Fraser Valley area and throughout the Vancouver Lower Mainland to help meet the labour demands and capitalize on the economic opportunities that are coming to this region,” said Gary Herman, Industry Training Authority CEO. “Local apprenticeship advisors will provide support and guidance to local apprentices and employers so that they are able to grow and prosper together.”
Sponsoring an apprentice is a key way for employers to guarantee they have skilled, prepared workers to meet labour demands. According to the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum, for every dollar an employer invests in apprenticeship training, they receive an average return on investment of $1.47.
The provincial government invests more than $100 million annually through ITA to support more than 100 diverse training programs, almost $30 million (or 39 percent) higher than when ITA was established in 2004. Currently there are over 37,000 registered apprentices, including youth, in the system in BC, with over 17,000 apprentices registered in the Lower Mainland and over 4,000 employer sponsors.