September 22 2009

BCcampus – Trades Training Goes Online - September 22nd, 2009

Written by Nimritta Parmar

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First E-PPRENTICE Programs Announced

VANCOUVER – BCcampus, on behalf of the Industry Training Authority (ITA), today announced the successful proponents of a recent RFP to design, develop and implement two flexible learning (FL) trades programs for cooking and welding as part of the new E-PPRENTICE initiative.

“Today’s announcement is an important first step in the rollout of the E-PPRENTICE flexible learning program,” said Kevin Evans, Chief Executive Officer of the ITA. “We are very pleased with the talent and skill brought to the table by these successful proponents and look forward to the online product they will deliver to students across the province. Our goal is to make sure quality trades training is available to as many apprentices and employers as possible, to encourage more to get involved in and ultimately complete apprenticeship programs.”

The E-PPRENTICE program for professional cooking will be led by Camosun College, while development of the online welder program will be led by the Piping Industry Apprenticeship Board (PIAB) United Association (UA) Training Centre and Lambda Solutions, a B.C. eLearning company.

The professional cook and welder E-PPRENTICE programs will provide students with an integrated, community-based approach to flexible learning. Learners will be supported by their employer, instructor, and peers throughout the program. Weaving together workplace and technical training the model uses face-to-face and online teaching and learning.
The online structure of the program gives students flexibility and convenience, allowing them to stay in their home communities and work in their chosen trade during much of their studies.

“Camosun has assembled a broad and diverse team of educational and industry partners to build this new program. Along with partners Northern Lights College and Okanagan College, four expert chefs will assist in program development, and their contribution will make sure our course material is of the highest possible quality and relevance to the industry,” said Liz Ashton, recently retired President of Camosun College. “Our eLearning partners – Desire2Learn and eTraffic Solutions – will provide the interactive media content necessary to enhance our students’ educational experience.”
“Our team is excited and truly committed to ensuring that this project will be successful and that BC’s students receive an outstanding E-PPRENTICE option for the welding professionals,” said Al Phillips, Executive Director of the Piping Industry Apprenticeship Board (PIAB). “We will leverage the considerable e-learning expertise of our partner Lambda Solutions, existing course material, templates, and assets, as well as public training providers in order to deliver this project in the most efficient manner possible. Experience from prior assignments will allow our project team to kick-start this initiative, accelerate project time-lines, and not reinvent the wheel.”

Design for the two E-PPRENTICE programs will begin immediately with courses available for student entry by early 2010.

A second call for proposals to develop further flexible trades programs will occur in two phases. An Expression of Interest is scheduled to be released in July to assess the interest of various industry partners, associations and training providers. Following this, a mixer event is scheduled in late August to connect new media and e-learning companies with the training institutions and industry associations. In September the second RFP is scheduled to be released. The E-PPRENTICE trades included in that RFP will be announced at that time.

A request to design, develop and implement a flexible millwright program was not awarded and will be re-issued with the next round of RFPs.

ITA manages BC’s trades training system and works collaboratively with industry, training providers, labour unions, government and other stakeholders to provide career development opportunities for individual British Columbians. BCcampus is responsible for leading and coordinating the new E-PPRENTICE program on behalf of ITA.

Funding for E-PPRENTICE is provided by the Industry Training Authority, through the Labour Market Agreement between the Governments of British Columbia and Canada.

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