Students from the Indigenous Trades Skills and Knowledge program are learning about the wide range of jobs in the industry (Submitted)

Students from the Indigenous Trades Skills and Knowledge program are learning about the wide range of jobs in the industry (Submitted)

Welding camp for all ages in Saanichton

The Canadian Welding Association has partnered with Saanich School District 63 to bring in a large welding trailer, which contains 7 booths for different skills, onto the Individual Learning Centre campus in Saanichton.

Wendy Walker, principal of the Individual Learning Centre, said that this opportunity is special not only for school-aged students, but for community members who want to upgrade their skills.

“On campus, from 4-7, we have all these different aged welders coming and going into the trailer and working on their welding skills,” said Walker.” What’s been really cool for our students is for them to have that opportunity to see the large number of very trained and skilled welders coming and that continuous lifelong learning.”

Walker estimates it cost between $8,000 and $10,000 to bring the trailer in and run it for a week, but it is free for the students, and it is sponsored by the Canadian Welding Association, the Ironworkers Union, Seaspan, and Barry-Hamel. Walker said “it’s a pretty generous contribution and showing their dedication to the youth in training.” Walker highlighted Flynn Canada, a roofing and building envelope company which has an operation on Keating Cross Rd., where one recent student started his career in sheet metal.

The program is a key part of the Indigenous Trades Skills and Knowledge (TASK) program, part of the Individual Learning Centre’s mandate to provide a high school education in a quieter, more personalized environment. The school has approximately 320 students in two campuses (Broadmead and Saanichton) and two satellite locations.