ABOUT SKILLS READY

Skills Ready provides tools for young people to prove they are work ready, while enabling them to build a real world understanding of the advantages of starting out in the skilled trades and technologies can do for their future.

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.

WHAT WE DO

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.

ATTITUDE

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.

SKILLS

Familiar with basic tool skills, functional math, effective communication, physical labour, trouble-shooting, and more.

KNOWLEDGE

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.

REALIZE POTENTIAL

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.

PROVIDE MENTORSHIP

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.

CONTINUED SUPPORT

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.

THE SKILLS READY TEAM

Abigail Fulton B.A. LL.B

Executive Director, Construction Foundation

Abigail Fulton a lawyer by profession, was appointed as the executive director of the Construction Foundation of BC in 2013. She is a strong supporter of trades training and applied learning for youth.

Ms. Fulton has extensive experience working with industry and government on regulatory and policy issues impacting the construction industry. Ms. Fulton has served on numerous boards and committees relating to the industry including the Safety Standards Appeal Board of BC, the Common Ground Alliance, the Professional Builders Institute and Skills BC. Ms. Fulton has been very active in promoting industry training and apprenticeship for the construction trades. She is also very active with foreign skilled workers, assisting them to integrate into the BC industry. Prior to joining the Construction Foundation, she served as the Vice President of the BC Construction Association for 20 years.

Jordan Perrault

Director of Strategic Initiatives, Construction Foundation

My skills have enabled me to work anywhere in the world including Europe and the Middle East.

I have a distinct memory of the first time I was on the tools and left alone to install some siding. I made a mess of it at first, but I still point it out every time I drive by.

My advice to new workers is to show up everyday like you want to be there. So much of the successes I've experienced working in the sector have come from me wanting to achieve something and working hard to get it.

If I had used Skills Ready and FutureBuilder when I was in high school, I would have understood what an apprentice is and how to complete an apprenticeship before I started work. I would have asked different questions and spent less time cleaning up the site.

Dave Lovisa

Career Catalyst – Southern Interior

My experience and skills in construction have enabled me to create a healthy lifestyle with endless opportunities to advance into a rewarding career.

The most rewarding experience I have had in the sector is that I furthered my career to become a trades instructor to help students learn the skills and knowledge to prepare them for meaningful employment and to promote life long learning.

My advice to someone on how to keep a job is to show the initiative to want to learn new tasks, to be willing to put an honest day’s work in and to be punctual.

Kim Crevatin RCIC

Director of Operations, Construction Foundation

Kim brings more than 20 years of industry experience to her role as Director of Operations. From receptionist to bookkeeper to executive assistant she understands the importance of being well organized in the workplace. Kim was instrumental in purchasing and distributing more than $3M in shop class equipment to high schools across BC through the Foundation’s Project Shop Class initiative.

Kim is also a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant and a member in good standing of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council. In the fall of 2013 she organized and managed a Western Canada Construction Job Fair in the UK and Ireland for more than 25 Canadian employers that drew more than 2,800 people.

Being of Cree descent and spending her teen years as a youth in care Kim has a genuine passion for the initiatives the Foundation is currently pursuing.

Rene Ragetli B.Ed. M.A.

Director of Project Operations, Construction Foundation

René Ragetli is a teacher by profession. Following his years as a classroom teacher, René worked in construction, managing commercial and residential projects. He then brought this education and industry background to Skills Canada where he coordinated the regional and provincial competitions and developed and managed new career exploration programs for five years. René joined the Construction Foundation in the summer of 2017.

René is active as a volunteer and currently serves on the boards of two community groups.

Jimmy Roney

Career Catalyst – Vancouver Island

My experience and skills in construction have allowed me to repair and renovate my own home. I have also applied these skills to my personal hobby of building acoustic guitars.

The most rewarding experience I have had in the sector is being handed over the responsibility of taking on a project and meeting or exceeding expectations. Having people’s trust is a great reward.

My advice to high school students is to always show up on time with a consistently positive attitude. Take pride in your capabilities and seek new opportunities to learn.

Colleen McConnell

Director of Communications, Construction Foundation

Colleen McConnell is the Director of Communications for the Construction Foundation of BC. As a strategic leader and team member, she is organized and focused on reaching organizational objectives, while remaining responsive to external influences and change. In her previous experience as an event producer, she had the opportunity to travel and work across Canada and the US. Her first in-depth exposure to the industry came when she traveled to Japan with the World Skills Canada delegation to plan and activate on the event site. In early 2010, she joined the BC Construction Association as Director of Communications where she contributed to the launch of BidCentral, as well as many other initiatives. Before joining the Construction Foundation, Colleen worked for a hospitality group in Calgary Alberta, where she led a high performing event production and sales team.

Audrey Wilkinson, CHRP

Director of Youth Services, Construction Foundation

Audrey Wilkinson, CPHR joined us in 2018 as our Director of Youth Services. Audrey came to Victoria by way of Prince George, Vancouver and a host of other places in North America. Audrey’s first career was Social Work with a focus on Children and Families. She also has over 15 years working in Human Resources and Labour Relations in a variety of industry sectors. Audrey’s passions are building relationships, creating programs that have real impact, and championing people to achieve their best selves. She lives in Victoria with her husband and son who all enjoy exploring the island and all it has to offer.

Nicole Underwood

Communications Assistant, Construction Foundation

Nicole is the friendly voice you hear on the other side of the phone when you call into the Construction Foundation office. As a recent graduate of Camosun College's Office Administration Program, Nicole's role is multi-faceted and includes providing bookkeeping and administrative support to the team. With an interest in Communications and Public Relations her tasks have grown to include the development of social media content for the Construction Ready initiative. She is furthering her education in communications by continuing her studies on a part-time basis.

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