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  ITA e-newsletter                                                                                Fall 2009
 
Evans photoCEO MESSAGE 
 
Greetings! 
As we round the half way mark on the current fiscal year, the ITA is focused on two key areas: strengthening the core and innovation.  
Strengthening the core targets the fundamentals of our business. At the moment this particularly involves work in the area of program standards to streamline development processes and enhance quality assurance mechanisms. Over the summer, we've been working with Industry Training Organizations and training providers and making solid progress toward clarifying program development roles and responsibilities between ITA and ITOs and redesigning templates for tools such as exam banks and program outlines so they provide greater value for end users such as apprentices and training providers. 
The ITA's innovation agenda has not been distracted by the need to respond to the rapidly changing employment market of the last year. We continue to focus on long-term initiatives that will ensure that the training industry is both in a leading-edge position to respond to changing workplace needs in this province and influence the training agenda nationally at the Red Seal level.
One such project highlighted in this issue is the Multiple Assessment Pathways (MAP) project which has been garnering national support. This initiative has begun to demonstrate how training and certification opportunities can be made more accessible to apprentices and challengers for certification by providing a range of assessment methods to compliment the traditional multiple choice exams. 
The ITA is also at the forefront of a CCDA initiative to develop an occupational standards framework - the foundation for any wide-spread incorporation of alternative assessment models into Red Seal program standards on a national scale which is also the subject of an article in this edition of the ITA E-Newsletter. 
It's easy to become so consumed by the day-to-day work that we don't often take the time to step back and observe progress on the big picture objectives like innovation and strengthening the core. I hope as you read this e-Newsletter, it will give you cause to be as encouraged as I am, and as grateful for the dedication of staff, ITOs and training providers that continue to make the industry training system in BC better every day. 
This fall edition marks the first anniversary of the ITA Newsletter. I hope you've found that this quarterly update has become a useful and user-friendly way to stay apprised of the work of the ITA and the many enterprise partners with whom we collaborate, both here in BC and across Canada.  
Let's keep the dialogue between the ITA and all who have an interest in BC's industry training system open and ongoing. Whether it's through feedback on the ITA Newsletter, joining the conversation on the ITA's new Facebook page, an e-mail or even good old picking up the phone, I encourage you to step up with your beefs, your bouquets, your suggestions, and your passion for industry training.
Cheers,
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Feature Article
Labour Market Initiatives-Success Story
100000theeventThe ITA's Women in Trades Training (WITT) initiative is a multi-million dollar program launched to boost the historically low numbers of women who work in trades.
Funding for Women in Trades Training is provided by the ITA via the Labour Market Agreement. WITT is more than just an awareness raising campaign and it provides incentives such as tuition, childcare expenses and transportation to help women overcome numerous barriers to entry.
Five demonstration projects are currently providing hands-on training, work experience, skills upgrades and other support for the first WITT recruits.The program is still in its infancy but participants in the project are excited about the new opportunities that WITT has given them. 
Here is one success story....Until recently, Keri was a stay-at-home mother of three. But after completing a WITT introductory program she is now working towards her long-held ambition to become a Red Seal electrician.
UpdateProgram & Policy
Updates
Propel photo cooksThumbs Up for Hands-on Assessment
The limitations of relying solely on final written exams in The The limitations of relying solely on final written exams in practical training programs could be coming to an end thanks to the early success of the ITA's Multiple Assessment Pathways (MAP) program. 
MAP promotes the use of multiple assessment methods to test skills and knowledge.
The first pilot was focused on the Cook program and was conducted in partnership with go2 - BC's tourism human resource association. In 2007, go2 was sanctioned by the Industry Training Authority (ITA) to take on responsibility for implementing industry trades training for the tourism, hospitality and foodservices sector. A new division of go2, branded Propel, is responsible for the management of the Cook, Baker, and Meatcutter trades. More than 70 challengers from across British Columbia took part in the pilot over the summer and its initial success has led to a national expansion of the groundbreaking program.
Read more.Photo credit: go2 - The resource for people in tourism
100000theeventThe Education Planner 
The ITA and the BC Council on Admissions & Transfer (BCCAT) are pleased to announce the inclusion of apprenticeship program information on www.educationplanner.bc.ca.
Users can now view all apprenticeship programs offered at BC public institutions, alongside information on other post-secondary education options. Training schedules are provided by the BC Trades Training Consortium, allowing users to easily see when apprentice training is available. 
This project was undertaken thanks to a grant from the ITA, and is part of the ITA's commitment to providing information about apprenticeship opportunities. Over the course of the next few months, BCCAT will continue to work with the ITA to include additional apprenticeship planning materials and incorporate programs offered by ITA-designated private trainers.
Education Planner is a free educational planning resource that provides clear, reliable and detailed information about post-secondary programs available in BC to help learners make well-informed decisions about their education and career options.
ITA Selected to Lead National Initiative   
The Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship (CCDA) and representatives from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) have asked the ITA to spearhead a project to explore the development of a national Occupational Performance Standards (OPS) Framework under the direction of a CCDA Oversight Committee.
The purpose of the project is to find the best way to capture and document industry expectations so they can be translated into more effective training and assessment tools. The current National Occupational Analysis (NOA) process and format does a good job of describing what a person does in a particular occupation, but does not describe how they are expected to be able to perform these activities in order to be certified as a skilled tradesperson. 100000theevent
"It's the difference between saying an Olympic swimmer must be able to swim and saying they must be able to swim 50 metres within 22 seconds time, using the freestyle stroke," says Jeff Nugent, ITA Executive Lead Strategy and Policy, who will lead the OPS project. "If the apprenticeship system knows precisely what industry needs people to be able to do on the job, and how well they need to be able to do it, it can ensure only people who meet these standards receive credentials. This is what an Occupational Performance Standard is designed to do."
Read more.
Profile: Tom Newell, Senior Lead, Program Standards
Tom Newell joined the ITA on August 1st as Senior Lead, Program Standards with responsibility for all aspects of program standards development and implementation.
Tom brings a unique 360 degree perspective to his new role. As well as spending many years in industry as a journeyperson electrician and contractor, he has also worked as an instructor and senior manager in post-secondary institutions and held senior management positions in the apprenticeship system in Nova Scotia.
Did you know?
 
As participation in apprenticeship programs has grown steadily over the last few years, so has the number of inquiries coming in to the ITA's customer service office. To continually improve service, staff have begun tracking the nature of customer inquiries. The goal is to provide the information that is most commonly needed and solve customer needs more proactively, through channels like the ITA website or direct e-mails to apprentices.  As a snapshot, the most common inquiry topics during the month of September included:
  • Work Based Hours
  • Registration
  • Challenging a level or certification
  • Sponsor Recommendation for Certification
  • Exam/Training Results 
  • Request for a transcript
APPRENTICES -- Help Us Keep You Informed
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Have you provided your email address to ITA Customer Service and informed them email is your preferred channel for communication from the ITA?
This information helps us provide information to you more quickly and frequently. Please call 1-866-660-6011, 778-328-8700 in the Lower Mainland, or email customerservice@itabc.ca.
In This Issue
Labour Market Initiatives
Thumbs Up for Hands-On Assessment
The Education Planner
ITA Selected to Lead National Initiative
Profile: Tom Newell
Did You Know
ITA on Facebook
EI Enhancements
5 Year Strategic Plan
ITA Poll
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Do you use facebook for business?
Join the Discussion  
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Connect with us on Facebook. Join in the discussion and tell us how you plan on investing in training during the recession.
Be sure to check out the updated websites of two key ITA partner organizations:
Trades Training Consortium BC

VANOC

VANOC has welcomed its fourth and final group of trainees into the RONA Vancouver 2010 Fabrication Shop carpentry program. The Fabrication Shop was designated and funded by the ITA to offer Level 1 Carpentry training. The first three intakes were targeted at youth at risk, urban Aboriginal people and women at risk.  The fourth will focus on training for a diverse group of immigrants. Trainees get their work experience making items like ski racks, wheelchair ramps and other wood items needed for the 2010 games, and in some cases will be involved in the installation. To date, approximately 36 trainees have graduated and passed the exam, earning credits for Level 1 towards their Red Seal carpentry certification.
EI Enhancements
Effective August 31, 2009, apprentices who are registered with the Industry Training Authority (ITA) in British Columbia and meet the eligibility requirement of an 'insured participant'
(Employment Insurance client), may be eligible to receive additional financial supports along with EI Part I benefits.  
Chess Play
5 Year Strategic Plan Released
Completed this summer, the ITA's inaugural Strategic Plan offers a concrete framework for the ITA and its system partners to successfully meet BC's current and future labour market needs with respect to the skilled trades. The plan's vision for the future is a "highly skilled and productive people making BC's industries prosperous and globally competitive." 
The plan reflects input from the ITA's Board of Directors, staff and training system partners. In addition to providing ITA staff with a roadmap, the plan was designed to give everyone interested in the success of industry training in BC a tool with which to hold the ITA accountable for its long-term performance.
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