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  ITA e-newsletter                                                                                   Winter 2009
Evans photoCEO MESSAGE 
It's all too clear that BC will not escape the impact of the economic recession taking its toll across Canada and around the world. In the face of layoffs and downsizing, should we still be focused on labour shortages? Counter-intuitive though it may seem in the short run, the answer is a resounding yes. Now is not the time to take our eyes off the ball. This is a critical opportunity to focus on the long term and take advantage of this phase of the economic cycle to ramp up training and work towards closing the future skills shortage gap.
Recession or no recession, the laws of demographics still apply. We're not getting any younger and the impending wave of baby boomer retirements isn't going away - although if your RRSP looks like mine, it may be delayed a bit. 
When it comes to industry training we have got to look at this recession as a "glass half full" proposition. Employers and the industry training community urgently need to work together to get the word out that now is the time to invest in training. For employers that means protecting your investment in training by hanging on to your apprentices through a downturn. For apprentices that means taking that technical training you may have deferred when there was no shortage work, enabling you to build up your on-the-job training hours.
The ITA will continue to work collaboratively with our partners in the industry training system - K-12 educators, post-secondary institutions, industry, unions, Industry Training Organizations and employers - to ensure BC is ready with the right supply of workers, with the right skills, when our economy begins to recover. 
In uncertain times, it's heartening to share success stories.
This second edition of the ITA e-newsletter has some, in addition to information tidbits to keep you up to speed and
in the loop. 
Our first quarterly e-newsletter received much encouraging feedback. It's clear that BC's industry training community is hungry for news.  Thanks to all of you who took the time to participate in our survey. You'll see evidence in future e-newsletters that your thoughtful comments and recommendations are being listened to. So please keep those ideas coming.
Feature Article
top trades 2009Nominate and Celebrate your 2009 Top in Trades
Nine years ago 2008 Top in Trades winner Melissa Craig was just a promising graduate of the Malaspina University College culinary arts program. Today, the executive chef of Bearfoot Bistro in Whistler is on her way to becoming one of the most accomplished and famous chefs in Canada. Read more on how winning the award has influenced Melissa's career.
Nominate one of the industry's best for a 2009 Top in Trades award. The call for
is open from now until March 15th, 2009.
All 14 winners will be profiled in The Province newspaper, plus the ITA will donate a $500 bursary in the name of each winner to the school or trade program of their choice
Success Story: Career Education Society 
ITA Funds Boost Apprentice Recruitment
The Secondary School Apprenticeship (SSA) program is undergoing a renaissance thanks to a grant provided last year by the ITA to the Career Education Society (CES). In just four months, the number of students registered as SSA apprentices in participating school districts has risen by 41 per cent even as our economy has contracted and job growth has slowed overall.  Read more.
CES logoTo find out more about the opportunities offered through SSA, please contact: Brenda Graziano, Executive Director of CES.
UpdateProgram & Policy
Aboriginal Outreach in Progess
The ITA's Aboriginal Advisory Council (AAC) is reaching out to Aboriginal communities throughout the province to help them gain greater access to training opportunities and skilled employment.  
Gary McDermott, who is Senior Lead on Aboriginal Initiatives for the ITA, has identified a number of barriers to participation in trades training including lack of awareness and academic requirements. He is currently working with the 14-member team of the AAC to produce a strategic plan that will ensure that apprenticeship and other training opportunities are made more flexible and accessible. 
Read more.
Thinking Outside the Block 
E-PPRENTICE is a new $6 million program that will soon transform the way apprenticeship training is delivered in B.C by creating more training options for candidates. 
The E-PPRENTICE initiative, announced by the ITA in early February, allows apprentice candidates to choose new flexible learning models, like e-learning and other distributed learning options as an alternative to traditional block-release programs.
Read more on the program 
Read the press release.
ITADirectAccessKeeping track of individual apprentices and training information just got easier thanks to the launch of the ITADirectAccess system. Apprentices, sponsors and training providers are all set to benefit from the new information management system that went live at the beginning of February.  Read more

In This Issue
Top in Trades 2009
Success Story - CES
Aboriginal Program Update
24/7 ITADirectAccess
Mark Your Calendar
 Mark your calendars
Career Fairs
February 24
February 26

March 3 - 4

March 6 - 7
March 10 - 11
Prince George
March 31
of Commerce
Join us for lively panel discussions featuring ITA CEO Kevin Evans, along with representatives from Industry Training Organizations, regional colleges and school districts. Panelists will talk about programs and resources available for small business owners at the regional & community level and present a business case for apprenticeship.
March 11
8:00 -10:00 am Prince George
March 20
7:00- 9:00 am Kamloops
March 24
7:30 - 9:30 am Penticton
March 25
7:30 - 9:30 am TriCities
Please contact your local Chamber of Commerce for event details and tickets.
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