Costal Pathways Partnership
A partnership between local industry and educational institutions has resulted in the creation of new skilled trades programs for Prince Rupert and surrounding communities.
As gateway and resource industries look to launch new developments and build economic prosperity on British Columbia’s North Coast, School District 52 Prince Rupert and Northwest Community College are challenged with providing students the specialized knowledge and skills to take advantage of new opportunities in their communities. Thanks to a partnership agreement led by Ridley Terminals Inc., a collaborative program was created that is responding to the needs and aspirations of local residents for long-term employment to support growth in the region.
The long-term goal of the school district is to ensure each student successfully completes their educational program with a sense of hope, purpose and control. This partnership opens up exciting new opportunities for our students to find high-paying trades jobs in our region.Tina LastBoard Chair, School District 52
Launched in 2013, the Coastal Pathways Partnership resulted in two programs being offered in Prince Rupert: the Millwright Foundations Program and the Industrial Electrical Foundations Program. Each program gives students an introduction to these trades and the preliminary education needed to begin a four-year apprenticeship and ultimately a certificate of qualification.
Through the agreement, each partner provides an important component to the trades program. School District 52 houses the tools and equipment, coordinates the recruitment of students and provides Accelerated Credit Enrollment in Industry Training (ACE-IT) for the program at Charles Hays Secondary School. Northwest Community College provides industry-certified instructors, Industry Training Authority approved programs and administration. For its part Ridley Terminals Inc. provided initial funding and continues to offer work experience opportunities to those enrolled in the new trades programs. The Port’s contribution was used in combination with funds from RTI and other contributors to purchase the necessary equipment, which is now the property of School District 52.
The ACE-IT program is the in-class component of a high school apprenticeship, which is followed by students being matched with local businesses where they continue hands-on training and study under working professionals. In its first year, a combined total of 27 students enrolled in the Millwright and Industrial Electrical Foundation Programs. As a result of the Coastal Pathways Partnership, local businesses like Canfisco are sponsoring successful students in an apprenticeship program.
“It’s our hope that the foundations programs will accelerate the career path of individuals seeking to enter the growing trades industry in our region, and provide a lasting legacy of accessibility to training and employment,” said Michelle Bryant, Corporate Affairs Manager for Ridley Terminals Inc.
In addition to $100,000 in financial support from the PRPA’s Community Investment Fund the program also secured funding from Ridley Terminals Inc., Pacific Northwest LNG, BG Group, Smit Marine, and the Metlakatla Governing Council.