The Comox Valley School District will hold a career information night to discuss career paths for secondary students, and the direction set out by BC’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint.
The career information night will run from 7:15 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, May 21 at G.P. Vanier Secondary School. Parents of students in Grades 9 to 12 are encouraged to attend, according to school district career programs co-ordinator Randy Grey.
“That’s where parents can learn more about the blueprint and the direction that we’re going, and what’s available for their kids,” says Grey.
“A big portion of this is that parents need to also be on board with this career planning and helping their kids choose the right courses in high school, help encourage them and open the doors for them.”
To attend the career information night, parents need to pre-register at the child’s school career office.
Grey says he’s pleased to see the various government ministries — Education, Advanced Education and Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training — working to bring K-12, post-secondary and industry together to ensure students get the skills they need to get in-demand jobs.
The blueprint includes doubling the number of ACE-IT (Accelerated Credit Enrolment in Industry Training) program spaces to 5,000 over the next two years.
While Grey said increasing ACE-IT spaces is positive, he would like to see some funding come to school districts to run those programs at the secondary school level — rather than keeping funding focused at the post-secondary level.
“I believe that a lot of that (training) can be done at the high school level, and it can be done actually quite economically,” says Grey, noting the school district runs ACE-IT auto service technician, auto collision repair and carpentry in its secondary schools, but the blueprint didn’t recognize these programs are taught in secondary schools by secondary school teachers.
“So I’m working on that — I would like to see more of that happening because it’s much easier for a student to take a trades program right in their local high school than to have to drive … to go to another facility.
“But there’s no talk of any kind of shuffling of monies or where monies can come from for districts that actually host some of these programs and would like to grow them. I’d like to build more, I’d like to have more opportunities for trades, but, I don’t have the avenue for any kind of funding; it all goes to the post-secondaries.”
For more information about ACE-IT in the Comox Valley, visit www.sd71.bc.ca.
To view the blueprint, visit www.bcjobsplan.ca/getskills/.