Skills Ready is an initiative of the Construction Foundation of BC that identifies and promotes the essential soft skills required for success within the skilled trades and technologies.
In 2016, the initiative launched as Construction Ready, with a focus on preparing young people to transition into construction careers. Since that time, the initiative has grown to encompass support for youth, educators and employers that will enable more young people to transition successfully into the skilled trades and technologies across a number of sectors.
With guidance and support provided by our Career Catalysts, Skills Ready enables industry to connect with educators and young people in order to bridge the gap into apprenticeship and long term careers.
Through consultation with industry and educators across the province, three core expectations were identified for young people starting out in the skilled trades and technologies. These attributes are defined as having a good attitude, basic skills and general knowledge. We call these core expectations The Industry ASK.
Committed, punctual, eager and able to learn, focused on work, able to solve problems, works well on a team and demonstrates initiative, and always chooses a safety-first approach to every job.
Familiar with basic tool skills, functional math, effective communication, physical labour, trouble-shooting, and more.
Understands the bigger picture, including what the company does, what kind of opportunities are available within the industry, and the various types of construction. Works safely and is familiar with the apprenticeship program and other important aspects of working in a trade or technology job.
Our Career Catalysts introduce these concepts to young people via in class presentations, showcase events and opportunity fairs.
The FutureBuilder App was developed to be a virtual record of achievement, that enables students to compile their experiences in school, at work and at home in a single location to demonstrate their ability to meet the Industry ASK.
Real-world activities, such as playing on a sports team, obtaining a driver’s licence, or volunteering in the community, are tracked through the FutureBuilder app, enabling students to highlight the things they’re already doing in school and life that show they’re ready.
By tracking six categories of activities, the app makes it easier for a student to identify, understand, and communicate their current and future capacity.
LearnSafe brings worker and public safety information to high schools. Our Safety Talks bring an industry perspective to the classroom. During a one-hour presentation, industry professionals will:
- Share real-life experiences and learnings from the job site
- Discuss the importance of a worker’s right to know, right to participate, right to refuse and right to no discrimination
- Conduct activities that are designed to increase knowing and awareness of workplace safety
- Demonstrate the various levels of personal protective equipment required for various occupations
- Share links to valuable resources, provide materials and engage students in a Q & A session
Students will leave the presentation with an understanding of the importance of safety training and awareness on the job site, and why safety is a critical element in achieving employment.
The Construction Foundation is also working to offer a series of online safety courses. These courses are currently being reviewed by an industry stakeholder & WorkSafeBC oversight committee prior to rollout in the 2018/19 school year. Completion of the on-line safety courses can enable high school students to earn graduation credits while gaining valuable safety training and awareness.
The SHIFT reduces barriers and connects young people from care with the tools and training needed to be successful on the job site.
Working with existing organizations and programs, we connect with youth prior to and after their transition out of care to help them develop the skills and abilities that will lead to a future in the construction industry. By identifying and accessing existing programs and activities, youth will build their resume through our FutureBuilder online tool. The objective is to help them develop the Attitude, Skills and Knowledge that employers look for in a new hire.
Helping to develop a young person’s connection to their community is key. Our mentors provide ongoing support and advice as youth transition into their construction career. Our mentors also facilitate connections to industry professionals, accelerating additional opportunity for long term mentorship.
DEVELOP SKILLS & TRAINING
The Shift reduces barriers and connects young people with the tools and training needed to be successful on the job site. From drivers’ licenses to safety certifications, and industry led construction 101 programs including short term work experience we provide opportunities for young people to accumulate the education and training needed to get a start in Industry.
PROVIDE A BRIDGE TO EMPLOYMENT
Many construction companies are small and do not have an HR department. This can make it difficult for a young person to connect with employment. The Shift works with the BC Construction Association’s Skilled Trades Employment Program to connect the young person with that first opportunity of employment in the industry. Once employment is attained, apprenticeship can provide the “earn while you learn” environment that will get young people on the road to success.
As the young person continues into apprenticeship, The Shift team continues to provide mentorship and funding support for tuition where needed.
Ultimate is one of the fastest growing sports in North America. It is non-contact and inclusive, with both men and women playing together on each team. It is an inexpensive sport to play requiring only a disc (frisbee). Ultimate does not use official referees. The game is self-officiated, requiring players to develop leadership, fair play and integrity on the field.
Ultimate Skills brings Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth together for mutual learning, through an ambitious community service project that is developing and implementing a cross community Ultimate league across BC.
Indigenous and Non-Indigenous youth with a passion for Ultimate will be trained as coaches and volunteer their time to travel to First Nations communities where they will engage with local youth in First Nations schools to deliver Ultimate workshops.
Combined with the Ultimate workshops will be a session, delivered by the Indigenous youth with support from their School, on the local history of the community and the residential school experience of First Nations in BC.
Project Shop Class raises funds to rebuild and refit shop classes in BC schools.
Project Shop Class has raised and distributed over $3 million in grants for shop class equipment across British Columbia.
Initially started after conducting research into current gaps and needs in the apprenticeship and industry training environment, the Construction Foundation of British Columbia chose to take action to rebuild high school shop classes in BC. Our initial round of fundraising enabled us to distribute over $3 million in grants for shop class equipment across the province.
The BC Government’s recent $15 million investment into trades equipment in support of youth trades programs is a big indicator that our provincial government sees the value in nurturing and helping to develop the skilled workforce.
This investment strengthens our commitment to developing new ways to support and strengthen relationships between industry and schools/school districts to ensure the next generation is prepared for and aware of the opportunities available in the construction industry.
Our aim is to encourage British Columbians to develop practical skills and to encourage students to pursue careers in the skilled trades.