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Off-Campus Apprenticeship Program


For students looking to get a head start on a great career, apprenticeship paves the way for job in the skilled trades.

WSD’s Off-Campus Apprenticeship Program offers Grade 11 and 12 students an opportunity to earn their first level of apprenticeship training while still in high school. The ten-month program has students training full-time during the last semester of their Grade 11 and the first semester of Grade 12.

“Students in our Off-Campus Apprenticeship Program are able to work on their level one apprenticeship towards a national designation in either electrical or the plumbing and pipe trades,” Shanker Singh, a WSD Career Education Support Teacher. “If students get 70 per cent in the program or higher, they meet Apprenticeship Manitoba’s level one certification criteria. They can go right into the workforce after high school and get paid as a level one apprentice, and after working for 1,000 hours, they can challenge for their level two.

“Students are getting their level one technical training while they’re still in high school. It’s a huge step forward into a trade.”

Starting in February, students in the Plumbing and Pipe Trades classes will attend classes located at Manitoba’s Piping Industry Technical College at 34 Higgins Ave.

Electrical Trades Technology students will attend classes at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW 2085) training facility on Notre Dame Avenue.

Students also spend much of their time performing on-the-job training in their related field, including an eight-week job placement in the first semester.

“We pair students up with a contractor or service company in the trade,” said teacher Christina Thiessen. “Students will spend four days of their week out with a contractor or journeyman, working with materials, learning safety, learning about work ethic and everything else.”

Both career streams are expected to be in demand in the coming years.

“By the year 2020, they are estimating that nationwide, we will be in a shortage of around a million skilled workers. Province-to-province, that may vary, but if you get your designation you can travel. Maybe you want to go to B.C. to live and work…having a national designation gives you the mobility to go where you want.”

Mr. Singh, Ms. Thiessen and staff from Piping Industry Technical College have visited high schools so students and staff know about this opportunity.

“We’re trying to expose students to this as much as we can,” said St. John’s High School teacher Matthew Stuve. “It’s such a great option for students. They’re getting the same training they would get at post-secondary institutions for one or two years, without the cost. They can make a smooth transition from high school to the real world.”

Electrical tradespersons plan, assemble, install, repair, test and maintain electrical fixtures and systems that provide heat, light, power or control in residential, commercial and industrial buildings.
They are able to understand and follow detailed blue prints and documents along with visualizing complex electrical systems.

Individuals working in the piping trades have an interest in construction, enjoy performing math calculations, working with their hands, and performing a wide-variety of tasks with construction tools and equipment.
They are able to understand and follow detailed blue prints and documents along with visualizing complex piping systems. The pipe trades include plumbing, steam fitting, gas fitting, sprinkler fitting and HVAC.

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“Students get a very broad sense of the various piping trade careers, there’s commercial, residential and working in new housing developments. Any time a new building goes up, there’s plumbing, steam fitting, gas fitting, sprinkler fitting and HVAC that has to go up with it,” Mr. Singh said. “It’s a good career with a great wage.”

Tradespersons in both fields are excellent problem solvers and take pride in their work.

If you are a student in Grade 11 or 12, have a strong desire to work in the electrical, plumbing or pipe trades, you can apply for WSD’s Off-Campus Apprenticeship Program by contacting Shanker Singh at ssingh@wsd1.org or phone: (204) 788-0203 ext 344. Students will have to complete an application and participate in an interview to be eligible.

Students should also take their Grade 11 and 12 compulsory academic credits in the first half of their school year, with the latter half being focused on the off-campus Apprenticeship.

“Students’ high school counsellors can work with them to fit those Grade 11 math, English, history and phys. ed. credits in the first semester, so students will be on track to graduate,” Mr. Singh said.

For more information, visit https://www.winnipegsd.ca/careereducation/Pages/Off-CampusApprenticeshipProgram.aspx .

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