RICHMOND – Local students will get some help exploring their options for high-tech and trades training thanks to $25,000 from the Province of B.C. to launch the Shoulder Tappers program in the Richmond School District.

The Shoulder Tappers program enlists career co-ordinators or recruitment specialists who work closely with students to help them connect with trades and technical training – as well as on-the-job experience.

Coordinators help mentor elementary and secondary school students and facilitate student access to technical, academic, and vocational courses in industries as diverse as aircraft engineering, heavy-duty mechanics, information technology, and early childhood education. The co-ordinators also work closely with employers, the Industry Training Authority and the CES Career Education Society to connect students with opportunities.

“This program will help point students to the path forward, and connect them with invaluable training, mentorship and career exploration,” says Teresa Wat, MLA for Richmond Centre. “Good luck to all students pursuing career success in high-tech and trades training.”

“Parents can feel good about these efforts to help their children chart a path to success after high school,” says Linda Reid, MLA for Richmond East. “I know School District 38 will do a great job in helping students explore their options and develop the skills they need moving forward.”

“The Shoulder Tappers program will provide important mentorship opportunities to students who are figuring out their next moves after high school,” says John Yap, MLA for Richmond-Steveston. “I have no doubt our young learners are excited about the many opportunities coming available in high-tech and skilled trades.”

In December, the Province announced a similar program worth $5-million for 15 districts in northern B.C. in partnership with Northern Development Initiative Trust. Funding support from Northern Development allowed the Ministry of Education to extend the program to more districts this year.

The Province launched B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint in April 2014 to re-engineer education and training so British Columbians are first in line for careers of tomorrow. The Shoulder Tappers initiative helps government meet this goal.

Over the next three years, new K-12 curriculum is being phased in with new standards in mathematics, sciences, and applied design, skills and technology. It supports opportunities for students to develop the problem-solving and creative thinking skills they need for success in B.C`s tech sector.

To learn more about the #BCTECH Strategy, please visit http://bctechstrategy.gov.bc.ca. For information about B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint, please visit https://www.workbc.ca/.