While mature students are benefitting with Elder College in Port Alice, North Island College is also looking at helping the less educated in a program that’s a B.C. first.
“One of the challenges we face in the Mount Waddington Region is really low literacy and numeracy levels that’s prevented a lot of people from accessing trades training,” NIC’s regional director, Karsten Henriksen, said.
“So, what we’ve done is we’ve gone back to the drawing board and redesigned a curriculum that’s recognized by the Industry Training Authority as a qualification program for first-year carpentry.”
“It’s significantly longer, 10 months, but in that program we’re blending hands-on upgrading,” said Henriksen.
“What we’re doing is putting students in the classroom and we’re actually taking them into the shop and showing them how what they learned in the classroom is applied to what they will do in their careers.”
The program — the Carpentry Access Program — is the first of it’s kind in the province, and perhaps in Western Canada.
“A huge number of the students who come to us that want to do something are scoring below the eighth grade level,” said Henriksen.
“That really leads us to having to do a lot of upgrading with the students and upgrade and really be creative ion how we deliver programming.”