Transportation Trades Students Build Connections and Trade Skills Through Pandemic

In partnership between VCC, PICS and ITA, this sampler program was created to encourage participation from underrepresented groups including new immigrants and Indigenous people.

A year into the pandemic, virtual learning has become the norm and trades training is no exception. One of the common challenges of online learning is a lack of social connection between the students. However, for the recent graduates of the Transportation Trades Sampler course at the Vancouver Community College (VCC), this was not the case. During this 12-week program, the students built a close-knit, inclusive community among themselves as they bonded over their love for cars.

In partnership between the VCC, Progressive Intercultural Community Society (PICS) and the Industry Training Authority (ITA), this sampler program was created to encourage participation from underrepresented groups including new immigrants and Indigenous people. There were fifteen participants in total, including three women and three Indigenous individuals.

The class started off with Essential Skills training and self-assessments to help students better understand their personalities as well as their strengths and challenges. Employment support was also part of the program where Ish Kumar of PICS helped the students build their resume and fill out job applications. Lina Sehgal of VCC was their dedicated Advisor, providing guidance on continuing their learning journey.

The students sampled areas in auto collision and refinishing, heavy mechanical trades, and auto service technician. This provided an opportunity for students to discover what they enjoyed best, granted them to new experiences, and provided them with the right skillset required to take their careers to the next level.

Through VCC’s Guest Career Talk sessions, the students heard from employers who shared their career journeys with the group, as well as their tips on searching for a job and what opportunities related to automotive trades were coming up.

Coming from all different cultural backgrounds, the students encouraged each other and found a connection despite the pandemic environment. Some of their favourite activities during the program included driving the forklift and excavator, as well as welding.

Five of the graduates were able to find job opportunities after the course ended at local automotive employers. Congratulations to all graduates on their amazing achievements!

Success Stories

Ela Alejandrino was one of the participants from the program. Read this blog post to learn more about her experience and journey.

“If it is something that you are passionate about then by all means go for it, especially for those who are young, you have all the time to hone your skills. There's nothing more rewarding than having a job that you love to do and make sure you work to be the best at it.”

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