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Bladerunners Raising Roofs – a construction training program for youth

Kopar Administration has announced a new skills training program for youth between the ages of 16 and 30 years old.

This free program is funded by the Government of Canada through the Canada-British Columbia Workforce Development Agreement. This program is being delivered in partnership with two other local agencies, LaKeCoRe Management and Training as well as the Canadian Vocational Training Centre to ensure participants have support from multiple areas as they move forward in this program. Additional support for the program is being provided by RONA Prince George and our community partners the Air Cadets 396 and Caledonia Ski Club.

This program is open to all unemployed youth who are looking to gain employment and/or training in the construction industry. The 20-week program will see participants take part in a mixture of classroom and hands on training. By the end of the program participants will have worked together to have built two sheds and one large building (16’ x 20’) that will be utilized by either the Air Cadets or the Caledonia Ski Club.

No experience or previous training is required. Participants will not require any special tools or equipment. All tools and equipment, along with safety gear will be provided to the participants. Many of the personal safety equipment and tools (including things like hard hat, safety boots, hammer, apron, speed square, etc) will be given to the participants at the successful conclusion of the program. All building will be done indoors year-round to ensure a controlled work environment to allow for focus on training without worrying about the weather.

The program will also provide certificate training in:

  • WHMIS
  • First Aid Level 1
  • SiteReadyBC Construction training
  • Fall Arrest/Protection

“Practical, hands-on programs that are funded through Bladerunners like Kopar’s Raise the Roof empower youth to gain confidence, skills, and employment in critical jobs that power our economy, especially in northern B.C.,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training, in a news release. “Supporting youth with wrap-around employment and skills training programs is one way our government is creating opportunities across the province to build an inclusive economy that works for everyone.”

This is an opportunity for youth in Prince George to gain real-world skills that are in high demand.

“This program will prepare our participants for work in the construction industry giving them the skills and confidence to succeed in those opportunities,” said Ken Newell, Kopar’s operations manager. “Kopar and our partners will also assist with placing the participants after completion of the program into employment opportunities. We already have several employers lined up awaiting our graduates and if a participant is wanting to return to school, possibly as an apprentice, we will assist with that process as well.”

Lawney Chabot, President of LaKeCoRe Management and Training who will be involved with the participants and their work says: “We are pleased to be providing the support for the participants in this exciting program which offers youth who are undecided about a career gain valuable employment skills and hands-on training to successfully gain employment in the construction industry.”

The president of Canadian Vocational Training Centre, Cal Purcell is also looking forward to the program.

“CVTC is excited to be working with KOPAR Administration on this innovative and client-focused program,” he said. “Our mission statement is educate, empower, employ and the BladeRunners program with Kopar helps us meet, and more often, exceed our commitment to all of our students.”

At the end of the day the BladeRunners: Raising Roofs program will allow youth to take part in building something tangible that they are able to reflect on and point to their accomplishment, as well as developing skills that are in demand and be given an employment opportunity with Employers who are hiring in Prince George.

Individuals who are interested in taking part in the program should contact Kopar Administration in Prince George at 250-596-2517 to arrange an interview.

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