The Sheet Metal Workers Training Centre is excited to announce a second training facility has been purchased to be operational in the late fall 2021/early winter 2022.
We take possession in June and will be renovating throughout the summer to configure the space for shop equipment and training classrooms.
The new facility is located in Langley and will expand the Training Centre’s current capacity of running triple classes to quadruples, adding more than 100 seats per year. Running additional classes will address the pent-up demand for technical training impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and influx of new applicants. This fall, an additional instructor will be hired to support our continued blended learning model of theoretical training online and technical training onsite.
Finally, our Specialty Training classes suspended since March 2020 will recommence once the new facility is operational this fall/winter. There has been increased demand for Specialty Training as apprentices and journeys seek to upgrade their skills. New classes will include Fan Service funded by our UTIP program. Watch for updates in the upcoming months.
Farewell and best wishes to Jo-Anne Rees.
After 10+ years of service, Jo-Anne accepted a new position at the IBEW Local 213 office. Jo-Anne’s dedication, strong work ethic and leadership contributed positively to where we are today. We wish Jo-Anne success in her new role.
Welcome our new Office Administrator, Astrid de la Tour de Saint Ygest.
Astrid brings over 10 years’ experience in a similar role at a trades training institution and most recently at WorkBC Apprentice Services. Astrid has big shoes to fill and a steep learning curve. We welcome her expertise and enthusiasm to our team.
Larry Lawrence, Regional Field Representative at International Training institute. Larry was an integral part of our success in gaining Platinum ITI Accreditation, successful ITI grant applications and TotalTrack implementation.
Thank you and congratulations to Larry and Ken!
Women Build BC 2021 Conference
On behalf of the Sheet Metal Industry Training Board (SMITB), Jud Martell attended the BC Centre for Women in the Trades’ (BCCWITT) Women Build BC 2021 Conference celebrating International Women’s Day (March 8th).
This virtual conference brought together women from the trades, industry leaders and other stakeholders with the goal to increase attraction, retention and advancement of women in the trades. Our participation aligned well with our UTIP Project. A bonus – SMITB received the Ally prize!
Annual UTIP Focus Groups
This spring, we hosted our inaugural UTIP Sheet Metal Workers and Contractors Focus Groups as part of the UTIP Project Evaluation. Discussion topics included technology, progression through apprenticeship levels, targeted recruitment and inclusion strategies.
We were thrilled to have representation of our targeted key groups: Women, Indigenous People and Newcomers to Canada. Thank you to everyone who participated and shared insights into how technology and diversity in their workplaces is shaping the future of the sheet metal industry.
We want to hear from you! Participate in an upcoming UTIP survey.
Indigenous Awareness Partnership
As part of our Technology and an Inclusive Workforce UTIP program, SMWTC instructors and Level 4 graduates were presented with indigenized facial masks, designed by a local Metis designer.
The masks were designed with metal nose inserts cut on the mechanical shear by our very own Bob Pascuzzi. This unique partnership highlights indigenous awareness and celebrates diversity and inclusion.
Indigenized facial masks,
designed by a local Metis designer, Karlene.
The pandemic expedited a situation already in the making – digitization. Our blended learning model combines online theoretical and onsite technical training, made possible through substantial investment in IT infrastructure by the Board and International Training Institution (ITI). In addition to increased server capacity, new computers and AutoCAD software was purchased to assist apprentices in learning online.
The Training Centre also received in-kind contributions from:
Milwaukee – educational tools program
Microsoft – MS office suite software for students
AutoDesk – student versions of AutoCAD software
An iPad for every Level 1 student!
Commencing in the May 2021 cohort, every Level 1 apprentice will receive an iPad to keep – funded by the ITI and the Board – paving the way to greater digital literacy skills.
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.