Training & Education
IBEW SkillPlan and B.C. partner for apprentice and female mentorship
By Anthony Capkun
April 11, 2016 – At the B.C. Building Trades 2016 convention today, Minister Shirley Bond announced $750,000 for partnerships with IBEW and SkillPlan (Canadian Building Trades Union, Building Together—Women in the Building Trades) to enhance mentorship for apprentices and women in the skilled trades.
“The practice of mentorship has been the foundation for skills development ever since the creation of the modern apprentice/journeyperson system, but it has not been clearly defined,” noted Adam Van Steinburg of IBEW Local 213.
The province signed an agreement with Electrical Joint Training Committee (EJTC) for $350,000 to help improve mentorship and skills development for all apprentices in B.C.’s construction sector. This project will also create an ROI model “to demonstrate the value of mentorship in the building trades”.
B.C. is also investing $400,000 through a partnership with SkillPlan and IBEW to create a made-in-B.C., women-in-trades mentorship program. This investment will also identify broader services to support women working in the trades, says the government.
“When you are on a jobsite and there are hundreds of guys—but you are the only woman—it can be overwhelming,” said Lisa Langevin, co-chair IBEW Local 213 Women’s Committee and BC IBEW Women’s Committee; campaigns and policy director for the BC Build Together. “This program will help level that playing field by providing women with the network and resources they need to be successful in these great paying careers.”
This project is led by representatives from small, medium and large business owners, as well as unions, says the province.
“B.C. employers and skilled tradespeople have a joint interest in training apprentices to build strength in such areas as communication, self-reliance and safety awareness, and in creating a more inclusive workplace,” explained Graham Trafford, EJTC chair.