Being schooled on the trades

School District offers trades expo to students this month

Stelly’s Secondary School graduates (and past members of the Cosmetology program) Paige Sawatzky and Elise Rossling practise their skills on Stelly’s student Tua Va in 2011. This year’s expo takes place on Feb. 27 at Parkland Secondary.

Trades programs are taking off in secondary schools across the Saanich School District and this month students will have a chance to check out what exactly is being offered to them.

“We’ll have a variety of different participants from different trades programs in the district to show students what is available,” said Stelly’s Career Counsellor Stu Rhodes.

“We’ll have Grade 12 students who are currently enrolled in programs all the way to students who have recently achieved their Red Seal certification in their chosen trade. They will all come together at Parkland to present their trades and the path they took so other students can see if it is something they might be interested in.”

Rhodes highlighted the fact that the expo isn’t only for students.

“We would really like parents and community-based employers to consider checking the expo out as well so they can see what kind of opportunities the district is offering students,” said Rhodes.

He added that program is always looking for employers interested in students doing work experience and co-op placements.

The district began offering a wider range of trades programs about seven years ago and has since been putting students on the road to getting their Red Seal certification in fields like carpentry, cosmetology, plumbing, cooking and metal fabrication.

“Getting involved in the trades early is a great way to give students a head start on their career before they even finish high school,” said Rhodes.

The expo, which will be held Feb. 27 at Parkland Secondary, will feature around 50 youth presenters showcasing all different types of trades. The event will kick off around 9 a.m. and will run until 2 p.m.