Mal-U and EDG promote careers in trades and technology
November 22, 2006
Source: Malaspina University College
Malaspina University-College is moving forward with an innovative project to encourage more young people to consider careers in trades or technology.
Working in partnership with Nanaimo’s Economic Development Group (EDG), Malaspina received federal funding to launch phase two of the T3, Think Trades and Technology project. The funds will be used to develop web-based resources aimed at parents, educators and the media.
The web resources will include industry information specific to the Central Vancouver Island region, profiles of young people working in interesting trades and technology occupations, and profiles of great companies to work for. A list of regional top ten trades and technologies careers will also be created.
Consultant Kathleen Savory said the overall goal of the T3, Think Trades and Technology project is to help counter impending shortages of skilled workers in the region by providing "key influencers" with timely, balanced and accurate information.
"Parents, educators and the media have the biggest influence over career decisions of children and youth," Savory explained. "We hope that by providing information to these target groups about trades and technology occupations, they’ll raise awareness amongst young people about opportunities available to them."
Savory, who conducted extensive research during phase one of the T3, Think Trades and Technology project in 2005, said "there’s still a social stigma" around jobs in trades or technology.
Canadian children tend to select occupations they are most familiar with, "but there is a significant mismatch between the choices young people are making and the realities of the current and expected labour market," she said.
"Many trades and technology jobs in Canada are going unfulfilled, while young people select academic paths or opt out of further education after high school," Savory added.
Savory’s research showed that young people are being conditioned that university is the only valid option if you are smart, "when in fact, trades and technology occupations are demanding, satisfying, well paying and widely available in our region."
Savory examined trades and technology promotion across Canada, and met with parents, teachers, counselors and the media in Nanaimo and Parksville communities to gather opinions and ideas on how to best promote careers in trades and technology.
"We determined that educators, parents and the media want regional information, including more knowledge of the options available for young people," she said. "Our new web-based resources will help address this need."
Four people have been hired until July 2006 to work with Malaspina’s online development team to help create the web-based resources for the T3, Think Trades and Technology project.
"I’m really excited to be working on this 10-month contract because it gives me valuable hands-on training in my field," said Erin Williams, who graduated from Malaspina last June with a Bachelor’s degree in marketing and creative writing. "Along with my three co-workers, we’ll spend several months assisting with research, contacting employers in the Central Vancouver Island region, interviewing past graduates of trades and technology programs and instructors."
Phase two of the T3, Think Trades and Technology project is funded through the Job Creation Partnership initiative of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. It is administered through Malaspina’s Centre for Continuing Studies and guided by the Human Resource Strategy Implementation Committee of EDG.
Project sponsors include Malaspina University-College, BC Hydro, MISTIC and EDG. Savory welcomes other businesses or individuals who wish to get involved or sponsor the T3, Think Trades and Technology initiative. She can be reached at 753-3245, local 2863.
For more information contact: Toni O'Keeffe, Director of Communications & Public Relations. Phone (250) 740-6341; FAX (250) 740-6474; E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org