LANGLEY – Langley School District will receive $40,000 from the Industry Training Authority (ITA) for Secondary School Apprenticeship (SSA) program support for the 2015/16 school year.

The funds will support Langley School District in placing SSA students in grades 10, 11 and 12 with local employers to attain practical experience. Students will “earn while they learn” and gain credit towards their high school diploma and the apprenticeship portion of their trades training.

“Students, parents, educators, and community employers all greatly appreciate Langley School District’s Secondary School Apprenticeship program, and we’re very pleased to have received a grant from the ITA to assist with staffing,” Assistant Superintendent Clair Guy said. “This grant will help us continue to encourage student and employer participation in trades training initiatives, and to support students who choose to pursue the apprenticeship route.”

Last year’s SSA registration numbers were the highest they have been since the 2009 pre-recession years. In 2014-15, 1048 students registered in SSA programs across BC representing an increase of more than 10% over 2013-14.

“The Secondary School Apprenticeship program allows students to gain paid work experience in a trade while earning credits towards graduation,” Fort Langley-Aldergrove MLA Rich Coleman said. “This hands on approach will ready our students for in-demand jobs after high school.”

“Working with local businesses, students gain hands-on experience while in school,” Langley MLA Mary Polak said. “The opportunity to earn while you learn provides students with a head-start on their trades training.”

“The youth play a pivotal role in sustaining B.C.’s future economic boom,” Gary Herman, CEO, ITA said. “There are more skilled tradespeople retiring from the workforce than entering it so we need to support the youth in trades training so that they are ready to respond to the increasing demand in the labour market.”

ITA partners with the Ministry of Education to deliver four youth programs focused on awareness building of skilled trades’ careers, practical work experience and apprenticeship technical training: SKILLS EXPLORATION 10-12; ACE-IT; SSA; AND YES-2-IT.