RICHMOND, British Columbia, Dec. 05, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Industry Training Authority's (ITA) 13th annual Youth Day conference was held on November 22, 2017 in Richmond, and brought together 200 educators, employers, and industry representatives. The conference objective was for participants to share best practices and discuss ways they can work together to improve enrollment in youth trades training programs and how to make better connections between school districts and employers.

“To make trades training work for young people, it is critical that all skilled trades stakeholders—including educators and employers—are engaged and aligned towards the common goal of helping students succeed in trades training and training up the next generation of skilled tradespeople,” says Gary Herman, Chief Executive Officer, ITA. “The future is bright for students in trades and by working together, we’ll be able to engage with more students and guide them through their apprenticeship journey." 

At the conference, recipients of the 2nd annual Youth Work in Trades Performance Awards were announced. The awards recognized school districts in six regions across BC with the highest registration in the ITA Youth Work in Trades Programs. The award includes $5,000 in additional funding to assist the school district with the development of the Youth Work in Trades program.

The ITA Youth Work in Trades Program is a dual credit program that allows students to “earn while they learn,” as they get paid to work with an employer, earning work-based hours towards their Level 1 apprenticeship and credit towards their high school diploma. With apprenticeship, 80 per cent of training takes place on the work site and 20 per cent takes place in the classroom, so it is important for school districts and employers to connect and help students get the hands-on experience that is necessary along their trades training journey.

“I am appreciative of the educators, employers and mentors who support trades training for youth and inspire young people with their wisdom and innovation,” said Melanie Mark, Advanced Education, Skills and Training Minister. “You are opening a door for these students to thrive as the future tradespeople of B.C. who will create, repair and build a better province for us all.”

The Youth Work in Trades Performance Awards recipient school districts are: 

  • SD 20 Kootenay Columbia
  • SD 33 Chilliwack
  • SD 34 Abbotsford*
  • SD 69 Qualicum
  • SD 73 Kamloops*
  • SD 79 Cowichan Valley*
  • SD 81 Fort Nelson*
  • SD 82 Coast Mountain

* First time recipients of the Youth Work in Trades Performance Award.

Certificates of Recognition will be presented to the Youth Work in Trades Performance Awards recipient school districts in the coming months. ITA will also host  celebration events for first time award recipients.

More information about ITA Youth Day 2017 including photos are available at

About the Industry Training Authority
The Industry Training Authority (ITA) leads and coordinates British Columbia’s skilled trades system. ITA works with apprentices, employers, industry, labour, training providers and government to fund training, issue credentials, support apprenticeships, set program standards and increase opportunities in the trades.

For interviews or more information, please contact:

Susan Kirk
Director of Communications, ITA
Tel: 778.785.2410
Cell: 604.315.9959

Danielle Bronson
Edelman Vancouver
Tel: 604.648.3438
Cell: 604.616.4425