by Nadia Ali
Students at the Cloverdale campus of Kwantlen Polytechnic University showed off their welding skills to the public last Wednesday (March 21).
Industry leaders say trades are becoming a more popular career choice for young men and women alike, including twin sisters Shmyla and Suveen Thandi, 21. They said they love everything about welding, especially the physical aspect of the work.
“I always knew I was going to be doing something in the trades, said Shmyla. “Since I was so active in high school, I knew I was going to enjoy a physical job the most.”
There are many job opportunities in welding throughout the province, with the majority of work being done in manufacturing, pulp and paper, mining and others.
The construction industry is the second-largest employer of welders in B.C., where workers build factories, buildings, bridges and towers.
The third-largest employer is the oil and gas industry, where welders work on pipelines and oil and gas rigs.
The Kwantlen welding program offers students the needed training to become working welders upon graduation.
The post-secondary school offers three levels of courses – A, B, and C.
Students who complete the first two levels earn citations, while level C earns them a certificate upon successful completion.
On average, it takes about three years to earn level C credentials, which then allows students to go on to entry-level jobs.
The instructors teach hands-on skills as well as welding theory, and apprenticeships are available for those who want them.
When asked about how their parents felt about them choosing welding as a career, Suveen said, “They are fine with it, and happy that we do something we enjoy because other careers didn’t suit us.”
For more information about the welding program and other trades and technology courses at Kwantlen’s Cloverdale campus, visit www.kwantlen.ca/cloverdale.