Essential Skills help community reach apprenticeship goal

A community in the Interlake wanted to begin an apprenticeship program for the trade of carpenter. Many of the people interested in the project had worked on their own home projects but wanted to get their Red Seal certification to improve their employability. Their “school skills” were rusty though, so returning to the classroom created anxiety as well as a real risk of failure.

To help the apprentices prepare for technical training, a customized upgrading program was developed. The Essential Skills of trade-related math and document navigation were taught in a refresher course before technical training began. And one afternoon a week, an Essential Skills instructor helped apprentices with math and reading problems that came up during time in the shop.

The trade instructor and apprentices agreed that many of them would not have passed their technical training, and several would have dropped altogether, had it not been for the Essential Skills upgrading. To recognize their learning in the Essential Skills upgrading course, apprentices receive an adult basic education credit towards their mature student diploma.

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