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Students mentored in high-tech, trades

March 16, 2016 9:44 A.M.

District 73 students will have a chance to explore options for high tech and trades training through a new program called Shoulder Tappers.

Shoulder Tappers enlists career co-ordinators or recruitment specialists who work closely with students to help them connect with trades and technical training as well as gain on-the-job experience.

Co-ordinators help mentor elementary and secondary school students and facilitate student access to technical, academic and vocational courses in industries as diverse as aircraft engineering, heavy-duty mechanics, information technology and early-childhood education. The co-ordinators also work with employers, the Industry Training Authority and the CES Career Education Society to connect students with opportunities.

A $25,000 grant from the province funds the program locally as part of its Skills for Jobs Blueprint, launched two years ago.

In December, the government announced a similar program worth $5 million for 15 districts in northern B.C. in partnership with Northern Development Initiative Trust. Funding support from Northern Development allowed the Ministry of Education to extend the program to more districts this year.

Over the next three years, new K-12 curriculum is being phased in with new standards in mathematics, sciences, and applied design, skills and technology. It supports opportunities for students to develop the problem-solving and creative thinking skills they need for success in B.C`s tech sector.

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