Unique training program will help Wood Buffalo rebuild

(ANNews) – More apprentices will be trained to support rebuilding the Wood Buffalo region, thanks to a partnership among four Alberta post-secondary institutions and support from the Government of Alberta.

The partnership will bring temporary plumbing technical training to Keyano College in Fort McMurray, which will be more than four hours closer than the next nearest program currently offered.

The program provides an alternative for apprentices who may not want to take eight weeks off for training when times are busy, allowing them to take classroom training for five weeks complemented by an online component.

The partnership includes the use of a mobile training lab from Northern Lakes College, instructional expertise from Grande Prairie Regional College, online learning from SAIT and staff and infrastructure from Keyano College.

The mobile training lab is expected to be operational in the spring of 2017 and will provide training facilities for second-period apprentices. The unit will also be used for high school students in the Career and Technology Studies Apprenticeship Pathways program.

“We’re preparing Albertans for success by training the skilled workers needed to contribute to the rebuilding of the Wood Buffalo region,” said Minister of Advanced Education Marlin Schmidt. “I’m very proud to support the efforts of all of our partners to bring this program to Fort McMurray.”

The government is providing up to $1 million to support this multi-partner project.

In addition to supporting plumber technical training in the Fort McMurray region, this temporary program will help promote apprenticeship and introduce more Albertans to careers in the trades.

Interested apprentices are encouraged to connect with the Apprenticeship and Industry Training office in Fort McMurray at 1 800-248-4823.

The Fort McMurray mobile plumber apprentice training program is part of the government’s commitment to ensuring that Albertans are “Future Ready” and have the skills and training they need to succeed in a changing economy.

The new program will be a partnership among 4 post-secondary institutions. Keyano College will co-ordinate the program and provide instructional expertise and facilities. Northern Lakes College will provide the mobile training lab that will be hosted at Keyano College. The self-contained mobile training unit can physically expand and provide up to 140 square meters of teaching space and as many as 10 teaching stations for hands-on instruction.

Grande Prairie Regional College will contribute instructional expertise and training for Keyano staff. Apprentices will get access to the curriculum primarily through a blended learning format developed by SAIT that includes an online learning component to complement the lab/shop portion of the technical training provided in the mobile unit. Participants will have access to more than 20 local plumbing employers to complete the required on-the-job training to progress in their apprenticeship.

More than 2,400 buildings were destroyed in the Fort McMurray wildfire last year.

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