If the boot fits...

Adam MacInnis
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Desiree Frame, a student from South Colchester Academy, tries on a pair of boots Monday at the Nova Scotia Community College campus in Stellarton where participants in the Building Futures for Youth program were taking part in training. Each student was given a pair of work boots.

About a dozen students from the Chignecto Central Regional School Board are going to get to try out construction trades this summer, thank to a partnership between the Construction Association of Nova Scotia (CANS), Department of Education and Nova Scotia Community College.

The Building Futures for Youth program consists of three components; in-school pre-placement, CANS Training at NSCC, and a seven-week youth apprenticeship work placement. Students receive training in the areas of construction safety, plumbing, electrical and carpentry.

Monday they started their week one training at the Nova Scotia Community College Campus in Stellarton.

“It’s a program that was designed to attract and engage high school students to careers in the construction trades,” said Alain Lefebvre, Coordinator, Building Futures for Youth. “Here at the training they’ll do a number of subjects targeted at preparing them for work over the summer because students do get matched with a host employer for five to seven week summer workplace training.”

He said that students had to apply and were interviewed for the spots.

Taylor Doucet, a student from Pictou Academy was one of the one’s chosen for the program.

He said he learned about the program when Lefebvre came and did a presentation for him and other students. He wants to go into the construction trades full time when he graduates and believes this will give him a head start.

“This program is getting me right into the trade. “When I do get out of high school, I’ll already be registered as a youth apprentice. I’m not going to be out of high school and then trying to figure something out. This program already sort of sets me on the path.”

He said he’ll actually be able to graduate school in  January because the program counts as three credits.

With many in the construction field retiring, Don Hill, Community based learning consultant with CCRSB, said it’s a great time for students to be considering the field.

The best part of the program is that it gives participants the chance to see what a construction job is really like before they make a final decision. For some in affirms their interest. Others decide that it’s not suited for them.

That’s important from an educational standpoint.

“Them learning the culture of the industry, is really part of the experience,” he said.

He said the employers are the ones who pays for the program so it doesn’t cost the government anything.

 

BUILDING FUTURES FOR YOUTH PROGRAM FACTS

  • · This Building Futures for Youth Program was developed by the Construction Association of Nova Scotia (CANS), in partnership with the Department of Education and Nova Scotia Community College as a pilot program across the Halifax Regional School Board in 2008.
  • · In 2009, the program was expanded into Chignecto-Central (CCRSB) and Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Boards (CBVRSB).
  • · In 2010, the program expanded further to include all 8 regional school boards.
  • · To date, Building Futures for Youth has provided training workplace opportunities to over 300 students at over 120 companies across Nova Scotia.
  • · In Nova Scotia, work in the construction industry accounts for 6 per cent of province’s workforce, employing more than 30,000 people. 

Organizations: Department of Education and Nova Scotia Community College, Nova Scotia Community College Campus, Construction Association of Nova Scotia Chignecto Central Regional School Board The Building Futures for Youth Pictou Academy Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Boards Halifax Regional School Board

Geographic location: Stellarton, Don Hill, Nova Scotia

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