An innovative apprenticeship program piloting at Okanagan College this month aims to help Electricians reduce time away from work and home while training.
The Electrician Apprenticeship Level I Blended Program is a new 17-week program that will deliver training through a combination of on-campus and online learning. The online component will cut in-class training time in half. Apprentices in the blended program will spend five weeks on campus, as opposed to ten weeks in a traditional program.
Carlo Langlois will be among the first students to step into blended program on March 27.
“The blended format really makes a lot of sense to me,” Langlois said. “Five weeks away from work is easier on the wallet than ten. I have a young family to support so I’m excited about the prospect of fast-paced training so I can get back to work as quick as possible.”
The program runs March 27 to July 21 at the Kelowna campus. It will be based out of the College’s new state-of-the-art electrical labs, which officially opened last fall.
“This new program offers apprentices the best of both worlds,” says Steve Moores, the College’s Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship. “They get the convenience of learning some of the theoretical principles online, and then they can step into the lab to get hands on training with our instructors and the latest equipment.”
The College received a grant of $218,000 from the B.C. government in December to power up the innovative pilot. The funding comes as part of the joint effort by the province, the ITA and post-secondary institutions to provide more flexible training that enables employers to keep apprentices at work longer, and allows apprentices to maximize their earning potential while in school.
“The program has been designed with the apprentice and the employer in mind,” explains Moores. “We’re always endeavoring to be even more responsive to the needs of industry. With this pilot, we want to help apprentices tap into great training and then get back out into the workforce as soon as possible.”
In order to enrol in the program, potential students must be working in the trade and have registered with the Industry Training Authority (ITA).
More information is available at www.okanagan.bc.ca/electricianblended.