AMDSB students getting more involved in skilled trades co-ops

(BlackburnNews.com file photo)

More than 40 students with the Avon Maitland District School Board achieved an apprenticeship in the past school year.

Pathways Coordinator, Jodi Froud, says part of that success is because they’ve to promote skilled trades and apprenticeship pathway to students in elementary school, so by the time they get to grade eleven and twelve, they already know about the apprenticeship program through the co-op program and they’ve likely already given some thought a career in a skilled trade and pursuing that through the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship program.

“So we have students in grade eleven and twelve right now on co-op. Over 300 of them this year have been in a co-op, in a skilled trade and in this year alone, we have increased our students who have signed a registered training agreement, which means they’ve started their apprenticeship while they’re still in high school.”

Froud says almost twenty more students have signed training agreements this year over last year.

“Almost twenty more training agreements this year alone than last year. We’ve been really fortunate in our board because we have continued with our co-op program throughout the school year and you need to have your co-op program in order to have students participate in OYAP.”

She adds she’s convinced that part of their success is that they’ve been working hard at Avon Maitland to prepare students to consider a co-op before they get to grade eleven.

“We have been working hard at Avon Maitland to try to prepare students, before they get to their grade eleven, before they think about taking a co-op, that the skilled trades and apprenticeship program is a viable pathway, that the skilled trades is an excellent career path.”

Froud also points out, if they can get some exposure to a variety of skilled trades, through the co-op program, before they get to grade eleven, even if they find they don’t like that particular trade, they can cross that off their list and it’s a lesson learned.