In April 2020, the Sheet Metal Industry Training Board suspended all apprenticeship and specialty training classes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff worked diligently to shift operations to accommodate occupancy limits and physical distancing requirements. This necessitated a reduction of class offerings and the development of online learning modules for students.
Our revised class schedule incorporates a new blended learning model on SMITB issued iPads to support students learning online. The blended model includes theoretical training via remote learning and technical training onsite at the Training Centre. Remote learning and hands-on training are conducted on a rotational schedule in smaller groups. All students are now required to complete a new Mandatory Orientation and COVID-19 Safety Training prior to starting class.
Overall, the learning curve has been steep for both students and staff however everyone persevered and the transition has been successful with our first cohort graduating July 31st.
Well done everyone!
The Training Centre reopened on June 15th adhering to WorkSafeBC COVID-19 safety guidelines and public health orders to ensure a safe work environment for all our staff and students. This included occupancy limits, physical distancing requirements, enhanced cleaning protocols, etc. Our first cohort of Level 4 Sheet Metal apprentices successfully followed COVID-19 safety protocols as they completed technical training safely.
The graduation on July 30th was celebratory with a safety-first mindset maintained at all times. Students donned their masks when receiving their completion certificates. The Training Centre opted for boxed lunches in lieu of the usual buffet lunch. All 24 students and instructors were able to unmask for an outdoor class photo with everyone safely staged six feet apart. Congratulations to all 24 apprentices for passing their Inter-Provincial Exams on July 31st, providing the Sheet Metal Industry with the trained journeys it needs.
On behalf of our Board and staff, we would like to thank the Sheet Metal Level 4 students for their leadership during their apprenticeship training and commitment to our new blended learning model. Great work everyone for diligently following COVID-19 safety protocols and completing your hands-on training at the SMWTCS.
Our Union Trades and Innovation Program (UTIP) project entered its second year of a five-year project. In the first year, new equipment was purchased and UTIP presentations were provided to Board Trustees, 200+ students, 30+ contractors and other industry stakeholders. All were invited to be curious about their role in shaping the future sheet metal industry, by supporting a more diversified workforce trained on new equipment/technology leading to improved skills to succeed in the trades. This spring, UTIP surveys and focus groups were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic impacting operational priorities in the industry. Now that the Training Centre operations has resumed under COVID-19 safety protocols, we will continue with our intended activities online. Watch for invitation to participate in focus groups and surveys this fall!
Sheila working with UTIP funded welding simulator.
Skill Plan has developed an online assessment tool for applicants to the Sheet Metal Industry Training Board.