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More than 30 teachers and parents spent the day at Camosun to learn first-hand what it takes to pursue a career in the trades. The one-day trades conference was held at Interurban campus on Friday, February 15, 2013. It was organized for the five school districts in the South Island Partnership to give teachers and parents a better understanding of the challenges and potential of trades careers.

Eric Sehn, Dean of Trades and Technology welcomed the conference participants and told them about the exciting changes Camosun is looking forward to, including the new $30 million Centre of Excellence in Trades Training that is being built on campus.

Next up,  a panel of employers and students talked about their personal experiences, why they decided to pursue a trade, and the benefits and challenges they've received throughout their training and working lives. Parents and teachers also learned about opportunities that give high school students a head start and free tuition for trades training, even before the students graduate from grade 12.

The rest of the day was spent in hands-on experiential learning. Everyone attended an introductory session about the new DiscoverTradesBC web portal, which pulls together a huge collection of trades information and resources, as well as providing educational materials that teachers can use in the classroom.

Each participant was also invited to choose two hands-on activities, led by Camosun trades instructors. One-hour workshops were offered in eight different trades areas including automotive mechanics, carpentry, cooking, electrical, joinery, heavy duty mechanics, metal fabrication/welding and plumbing/pipefitting.

For more information, contact South Island Partnership coordinator Kelly Betts at 250-370-4828 or email

Last updated: April 12, 2013 11:42 am

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