As students progress through high school, they often wonder: what are my interests? What are my passions? What do I want to pursue? It’s common for teens to struggle with deciding what they want to be or study, making university applications much more stressful. People have a variety of interests. Some may not be interested in the arts, while others want to avoid the sciences. For those who feel lost and do not know the plethora of options that await, don’t worry! There are many alternative post-secondary and career paths that may be a perfect match. As a Heritage Woods student, we are all eligible to participate in the SD43 Trades program!
The district offers over twenty Trades Training Programs in a variety of fields. The TRAIN in Trades program allows students to gain level 1 technical training while still in high school! To add the icing on the cake, all the programs are dual credit, which means the student gains both high school and post-secondary credits! The trades offered are auto collision repair, auto painter, bricklayer, cabinetmaker, carpenter, electrician, painter, plumber, refrigeration mechanic, hair stylist, baker, professional cook, ironworker, metal fabricator, sheet metal worker, welder, auto service tech, heavy duty mechanic, millwright, and motorcycle mechanic. These programs are available to students in grade 12 and are virtually free. Though students must pay the cost of supplies and materials, the tuition savings is incredible. Students are required to attend another location for the part of the year that they are in the Trade program. Some are offered at other high schools in the district and some are offered at post-secondary institutions such BCIT and VCC. The Trades program is amazing because while the students will graduate from their own high school with their peers, they will have post-secondary credits in the trade they have chosen and kickstarted their path to a rewarding career.
If you are interested in a career in trades, this program is a definite win-win! Depending on which trade you are interested in, there are differing prerequisites, something like the baking program requires students have their Food Safe level 1 and baking experience, either by taking Foods and Nutrition or from a baking job in the community. On the other hand, the electrician program requires Physics 11 and Math 11 Foundations. Since there are prerequisites, it’s a good idea to start looking at the program in grade 10 so you can take the courses required before grade 12!
If you are considering a career in trades, but do not have a specific area in mind, you can also try the “EXPLORE the Trades” program! Skills Exploration 10-12 is a high school course that provides students with learning experiences involving knowledge, skills, and attitudes in numerous trades areas! It’s a great introduction if you wish to learn more about the trades and all you must do to take it is select it on your course selection sheet! If you know you are dedicated to a certain trades program and you wish to partake in the TRAIN in Trades program, the registration is a bit different. This program is not directly written on the course selection sheet since it requires an application. If you want to apply, talk to your counsellor or Ms. Butler, the career counsellor. They will help you with the specifics of the program you are interested in. For more information, check out the SD43 trades website, and read more about the prerequisites for your trade of interest, as well as the costs, application process, and more! Keep in mind, there are limited seats for each of the trades, so if you are interested it is important to get started quickly! This program is an incredible opportunity to get a head start on a career in trades, save money, get certified, and gain experience, so be sure to take advantage of it, Kodiaks!
Written by Nava Karimi