Partnership is working
Just what makes a great sports team?
Is it the players? Yes, of course. But who picks the players and sharpens their skills? The manager and coaches, naturally. What about talent scouts, don’t they have a role? Certainly, as do the physiotherapists, psychologists and promotional gurus.
The fact is there is a matrix of different elements that are at play to ensure a team or club is successful.
Sporting success is analogous in many ways to today’s highly competitive employment market. Instead of scoring goals or touchdowns, people are trying to score jobs. To achieve this requires a similarly complex combination of elements, from God-given talent to education, from ambition to people skills.
Sometimes, however, this is not enough, particularly when the jobs market is contracted.
That is why Barrhead should be so excited by something called the Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP), which allows students to begin apprenticeship training while completing high school course work.
Students can earn high school credits while they learn a trade and bank apprenticeship hours.
The woman trying to sell the idea of RAP to Barrhead is Lorraine Jackson, field director for Careers: the next Generation, an Edmonton-based industry driven private/public partnership.
On Friday, May 25 she accompanied a group of 12 Grade 10-12 Barrhead Composite High School students on a tour of modular homebuilder Northplex, which is interested in knowing more about RAP.
“We are only in the introduction phase with Northplex,” Jackson said. “In this phase I present the employer with RAP information and see if they would be interested in recruiting a student to the program, answering any questions the employer may have.”
As Northplex seeks to expand and build up its workforce from about 65 to 110, we can only hope it sees the advantage of attracting the new generation of workers, giving them a jumpstart in their possible careers.
Working with Careers: the next Generation is Human Services – Alberta Works, another body dedicated to the career development of Alberta’s youth to provide a continuous supply of skilled and motivated people to meet industry needs today and in future.
Both entities are facilitators, potentially key elements in helping Barrhead succeed as a team.
Also present at the Northplex tour was Barry Wilkins, the Building Construction Technologies class teacher at BCHS. He too should be applauded for being involved in a process of opening youthful eyes to what is available. The students themselves seemed impressed by what they saw. Perhaps one of their biggest lessons came from supervisor Allan Schafer, who stressed that career decisions may appear daunting but did not necessarily fix one’s course in life.
There are many opportunities to change direction after that initial first step.
Alberta Works business & industry liaison, Mark Myrehaug, was keen to underline the importance of collaboration in charting Barrhead’s economic future, saying how excited he was by RAP as a means of introducing young people to the workplace.
This paper is also excited by initiatives like RAP and urges Northplex to give it serious consideration. By joining in a collaborative effort, they can give young people an all-important employment foothold.
Partnership is working.
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