(Photo courtesy © Can Stock Photo / lisafx) (Photo courtesy © Can Stock Photo / lisafx)

School board partners with Conestoga College to teach kids about skilled trades

The Huron Perth Catholic District School Board has partnered with Conestoga College on a program that provides grade eight students with an introduction to electronics.

OYAP Project Leader Mark Flanagan says it's a partnership with Conestoga College.

“We have a grade eight program in partnership with Conestoga College and one of their licensed electrical teachers is going through our elementary schools in grade eight and we have electrical boards and we're doing half-day presentations to them," Flanagan explained.

Flanagan says some of the students might decide to pursue a career in electronics eventually, but he says right now they're really enjoying the opportunity to learn a bit about it.

Additionally, Flanagan says they're seeing a lot more interest in the skilled trades over the last few years and a lot more interest from girls than they had seen in the past. And Flanagan points out, there are some very good reasons for pursuing a career in the skilled trades, starting with the fact that those jobs pay very well, but also people working in the skilled trades are guaranteed a job.

“When you graduate as an apprentice, you are fully employed and you're in demand, where sometimes when you go to college or university you have to start looking for a job and you may not start out at the top, you may start down low in the wage categories, where in an apprenticeship, you're employed when you're done," said Flanagan.

Flanagan adds that introducing the students to skilled trades programming at an early age gives them another career option that many of them might not have considered, and they're having fun learning about it whether it leads to a career or not.

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