Next generation for VSB trades

By Sandra Wrigley

A career in the trades offers great pay, flexibility and opportunity as discovered by three young men, who began their first job as a Secondary School Apprentice with the VSB. Each continues the legacy of the trades' tradition within their families, who also got their start at the VSB workshop.

Jonathon Potter, a 2009 graduate from Port Coquitlam, felt that trades held a high level of appeal for him. Jonathon grew up helping his father Bruce, a VSB carpenter, with projects around the house. With support from mom Brenda, Senior Stores Coordinator with the VSB, Jonathon was encouraged to continue working with his hands and enrol in the Secondary School Apprenticeship (SSA) program in carpentry.

Mike Simpson, a 2008 New Westminster graduate completed his SSA in carpentry with the VSB last June and is continuing his apprenticeship at the workshop.

Mike agrees that if you want a hands-on experience and are thinking of pursuing a trade, the SSA program is for you.
"There will always be trades" says Mike's father Rick, VSB warehouse person.  Mike's grandfather, Bill Wrigley, retired VSB plumbing supervisor, encouraged his grandson to go into the trades, also stating that there will be a demand for them.

Like Mike, Jeremy Williams is the third generation in his family to be in a trade with the VSB. His father Bob works as a sign painter at David Thompson while his grandfather Elmer worked as a part of the "Black Gang," the nick-name for the team that used to clean out boilers at the schools.

As a 2008 graduate of Sir Charles Tupper, prior to being hired as an SSA student in Sheet Metal, Jeremy got his three week work experience opportunity through Russ Evans, instructor of the Tupper Technical program.

Walter Adolf, Senior Supervisor of Buildings who has been instrumental in providing work experience and SSA opportunities for numbers of students, hopes to encourage young people who are already thinking of trades to pursue it further, and encourages those who have yet to learn about the trades to take that step and get educated on the available options.

The VSB supports numerous programs such as Work Experience 12, ACE-IT and Secondary School Apprenticeship and many Vancouver students have taken the opportunity to launch their trade careers here at the VSB.  
For more details about these programs contact Wendy Gilmour, Apprenticeship Facilitator in Career programs telephone 713-4470.

Article by Sandra Wrigley
Work Experience Facilitator
Career Programs  604 713-5064
with special thanks to Ljudmila Petrovic, Career Prep work experience student at Lord Byng

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