The trades programming at Medicine Hat College’s (MHC) Brooks Campus is growing in popularity, with seven junior and senior schools gaining experience in welding and electrical through the Career and Technology Studies (CTS) and Foundations (CTF) programs.
New to the list of schools this year is Bassano School, École Le Ruisseau and a homeschool group.
“Word-of-mouth is one of the things that is helping us reach these new communities,” says Lynsey Robinson, program administrator with continuing studies. “Schools are hearing of the positive impact this program is having on students, in particular those that are perhaps struggling in the traditional classroom setting, and as a result are wanting to get involved.”
Kelly Thornton, instructor for welding, feels that programs like these are essential due to the exposure they give the industry and the opportunity for students to try a trade before they commit full-time.
“Trades are important, they are what build our communities and economy. Whether you decide to pursue a career in the trade or weld for hobby, these skills are beneficial. I try and work with every student on an individual basis to help them reach their goals – whether that be to pursue a career, or solely earn high school credits.”
Thornton mentions that for those interested in starting a career in trades this course allows them to try the trade prior to getting into a Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) with a company that has accepted them. This program enables students to earn credit towards their high school diploma.
According to Bradie Sturch, electrical instructor, regardless what direction the students take, the technical and soft skills they acquire are beneficial.
“On the first day, they are pretty nervous because it’s a new environment, but the more they learn the more comfortable and confident they become both with themselves and the course material. It is neat to turn them loose and see them start to get better at the trade, collaborate with other students and work together while developing some hands-on skills.”
Both Thornton and Sturch instruct part-time while operating their own businesses in the Brooks community. They are passionate about trades and also committed to exposing students to the opportunities that exist in the industry.
“As a tradesperson you stay employed pretty regularly as things will always break down and need fixing,” says Sturch. In the electrical trade there are a lot of different directions that we can go into, whether it be residential, commercial or industrial. It’s nice to be able to help students explore those possibilities.”
If you are interested in learning more about the CTS or CTF programs or would like to explore opportunities with MHC visit www.mhc.ab.ca.
For more information regarding this story, or to book an interview,
Corporate Communications Officer (Media Officer)
Maps Phone Directory News & Events