Liam’s an apprentice carpenter in BC
Here’s how he did it
Liam Kinders is the future of BC’s skilled workforce. A proud Vancouverite, born and raised, Liam’s enthusiasm for trades started early on. “My mom says I was swinging a hammer at the ripe age of one and a half,” laughs Liam. “I was helping my grandpa do simple renos to our kitchen and bathroom in elementary school. Whether I knew it or not, my path to trades started then.”
Liam’s parents’ career paths have been very different than his. “My dad is an accountant and my mom was an elementary school teacher,” says Liam. “It really doesn’t matter what your background is – the trades are for everyone. People can enter and exit at different points in their lives. Not every career option offers this diversity.”
Liam has spent the last three summers gaining valuable knowledge about the construction industry as a general labourer for Randhill Construction. “For me it was never a question of whether I wanted to enter the trades as a carpenter, it was how I could get my red seal certification as fast as possible.”
The ACE-IT Program enables high school students to take first-level trades and technical training that gives them dual credit toward high school graduation and apprenticeship/industry training programs. Once a student has successfully completed an ACE-IT program they will receive credit for the first level of the classroom component of the industry training – or trade – program and graduation course credits.
Having successfully completed his first year of carpentry apprenticeship last year via the ACE-IT program, Liam is currently enrolled in the Secondary School Apprentice (SSA) Program, working as a first-year apprentice carpenter. Similar to the ACE-IT program, the SSA program is a partnership between the ITA and BC’s Ministry of Education. High school students are provided the opportunity to ‘earn while they learn,’ acquiring dual credits towards graduation and apprenticeship on-the-job training. “That’s the best thing about this whole process,” says Liam. “All these hours I am logging right now with Randhill Construction are transferring over to my apprenticeship!”
Secondary School Apprentices are on the job with a sponsor employer as a registered youth apprentice. SSA students complete up to 480 hours of work experience that counts toward their apprenticeship and 16 graduation credits.To be eligible for SSA, students must be attending high school, not graduated, under the age of 20 at program completion and finish the program within three months after graduation.
Randy Montroy, owner of Randhill Construction, has only positive things to say about Liam: “I’ve known Liam since he was two. He’s always had the work ethic and drive. What sets him apart is his eye for carpentry detail – he has innate talent and it’s amazing to watch,” says Randy proudly. “Right now we have six apprenticeships going. Getting these guys trained up properly is crucial – they’re the future of BC’s construction industry.”
Due to BC’s growing economy and continued retirements, in less than a decade there will be one million job openings, with almost half of them in the skilled trades and technical fields. The ACE-IT Program and SSA Program are key resources for the future of BC’s skilled workforce. Liam’s advice to young people thinking about a career in trades is simple: “Take a shot and seize the opportunity in front of you. You’ll never know if you don’t try.”
How Liam’s story connects with the BC Jobs Plan
- A skilled workforce is a key component to any growing economy. BC is investing in skills and training to ensure the skilled workforce of the future is stronger than it has ever been.
- BC’s Skills and Training Plan is built from a $500-million annual investment – to train British Columbians for today’s jobs, and the jobs of tomorrow.
- Liam is one of approximately 30,000 registered apprentices in British Columbia. The ACE-IT Program and the SSA Program are helping BC’s youth balance skills training with applied work experience.