Peel School Board to offer skilled trades program next fall

Beginning September 2019, the Peel District School Board will offer its first Regional Skilled Trades program at West Credit Secondary School. Colleges Ontario forecasts, by 2030, the province will face a skilled trades shortage of more than half a million workers. The program will allow the board to prepare its students for the many opportunities the trades sector offers.

“We’re excited to open our doors to students from across the Peel region and to showcase the importance of the skilled trades,” says Crissa Hill, West Credit Secondary School principal. “Our facility is truly unique and features 12 different industry standard specialized technology education shops, which will prepare our students with the skills, tools, and training they need for apprenticeships, work and college pathways.”

West Credit’s specialized workshops contain industry-standard equipment and will support training in the automotive industry, manufacturing (a full machine shop with welding and fabrication), construction and cosmetology. The program also offers a greenhouse, hospitality kitchens and a ministry-licensed child care centre.

The hands-on program will provide experiential learning and career exploration opportunities while preparing students to meet skilled trades labour force demands. By partnering with industry partners and colleges, Regional Skilled Trades graduates will gain valuable skills and sector-specific certifications required for success in apprenticeships, post-secondary studies and the workplace.

Industry partners involved in the program include Landscape Ontario, Labourers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA), Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) and Skills Ontario. West Credit’s college partners include Centennial, Conestoga, Humber, Mohawk, Niagara and Sheridan.

The Regional Skilled Trades program falls under the school board’s Regional Learning Choices Programs (RLCP). The programs empower students by providing an opportunity to develop and explore skills in a particular area of interest. The skilled trades program is now one of 17 programs offered at both elementary and secondary school levels throughout Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon. Others include International Business and Technology, Arts, Regional Sports and Graphic and Design Management.

“In Peel, we’re committed to ensuring that every student receives high-quality education with many opportunities to achieve their personal goals, and build on their strengths and interests,” says Adrian Graham, board curriculum and instruction support services superintendent. “This is why we’re excited to expand the number of Regional Learning Choices Programs offered and try to help meet the growing demand for skilled trades workers.”

The Regional Skilled Trades program will be open to all students entering Grade 9 in September 2019. Visit regionalskilledtrades.com or call 905-858-3087 ext. 412 for information. Visit peelschools.org/regionalprograms for information on RLCP.

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