A recent work experience visit to Viaduct Sheet Metal by high school student Mason has opened the door for a potential career pathway for not only him, but his father Ricky, as well. The pair’s Viaduct experience is not only a great example of a feel good story, but a testament to the opportunities available to trades people of all ages.
Mason is working with Viaduct Sheet Metal for a semester of school—work experience durations vary between three weeks and a semester for pre-apprenticeships—and is working in a number of different areas throughout that time span.
“As an entry level position, we get our pre-apprentices experience in different areas of the workplace, they could begin on assembly and then we might move them around,” said Viaduct’s Sheila Sadler, a Red Seal Metal Fabricator. “What our work experience participants do with us really depends on each person and their strengths.”
During Mason’s initial visit to Viaduct with his father, the process to sign up and explanation of the job, its requirements, as well as the benefits offered to employees piqued the interest of not only Mason, but his father Ricky as well. Having recently relocated from the East Coast, Ricky inquired about the possibility to also jump into a role with Viaduct, and is now in the process of kicking off a new career.
“Mason’s work experience with Viaduct is a great story and shows the incredible impact that a positive work experience can make,” said Director of Project Operations, René Ragetli. “Experiencing a workplace as a short-term employee is the best way to connect with the work culture, the employees and of course the employers in that place. It can be a life-changing experience when young people start to see opportunities and career doors opening up before them.”
Following their work experience term, four to five work students have remained with Viaduct in the past five years! As Mason and Ricky’s story points out, however, is that opportunities for a rewarding career in the trades at Viaduct (and other businesses around the province) are certainly not limited to a certain age demographic.
“What makes this story so powerful is that a single positive work experience has led to career doors opening for multiple individuals,” added Ragetli. “Viaduct is an outstanding employer, but they are by no means unique. There are a number of employers in B.C. I could see providing a similar pathway for anyone interested in the trades.”