Program announced to connect students with construction industry employers.

Interactive app will help students take stock of their job skills

For employers in the construction industry, selecting a new employee comes down to their attitude, skills and knowledge.

Those three factors are the focus of a new government-supported initiative called the Construction Ready Pilot Project. The project is administered by the Construction Foundation of BC and funded by the province through the Sector Labour Market Partnership.

The project, which was officially launched in Salmon Arm on March 17, aims to increase awareness of careers within the construction industry among high school students and also help the students understand the qualities future employers may be seeking.

To help students assess their preparedness for a career in construction, the project committee has created an interactive app which provides students with activities and tasks which will help them identify relevant skills they already have and learn more about where to acquire those skills they lack.

“The results help employers find students who are ready to work after graduation and have the qualities that they look for, ��qualities that may be hard to identify in a typical resume or interview,” reads a government press release announcing the project.

The project’s total worth is $923,000, with $798,000 coming from the province and the remainder contributed by industry partners.

The Construction Foundation of BC has announced they will contribute $100,000 to help fund the apprenticeship training costs of students who are offered jobs after completing the pilot project.

The project was announced as Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo, along with BC Construction Foundation representatives, toured the shop used by Salmon Arm Secondary’s Explore-A-Trade program at the Jackson campus.

“The Construction Ready Pilot Project is a great tool that will connect B.C. students with construction industry employers. I’m excited about this project led by the Construction Foundation of BC, with support from the province, schools and industry partners. One of the feedbacks we’ve heard from B.C. employers is the importance of recruiting students and workers with the right attitude, so they can train them for the skills they need in the future. This pilot project does exactly that, and I hope more students, schools and employers will take advantage of this opportunity, as this pilot expands to other schools,” Kyllo said.

Explore-A-Trade teaches students practical workplace skills and exposes them to a variety of trades including including carpentry, plumbing, electrical, welding and drafting.

Becki Reay, a student in the program, said working on the program’s main project, a shed which students are working in groups to design, construct and outfit with plumbing and wiring, has already taught her many important job skills.

The Construction Ready Project was tested in Kelowna, Vernon and Penticton before being launched in Salmon Arm.