High school students from the Nanaimo-Ladysmith and Parksville-Qualicum areas interested in learning more about a career in construction trades (including heavy equipment operator) are invited to sign up for a fun three-day event called Heavy Metal Rocks.
The event is being organized by Vancouver Island University’s Trades & Applied Technology department, School District #68, School District #69, Vancouver Island Construction Association, and WorkSafe BC.
“We only have room for 32 students so we encourage interested students currently in grades 10 and 11 to get an application in right away,” said Kellie Spence of VIU’s Trades faculty. “The early bird application deadline is June 13. Interviews will happen in late June and early September.”
Heavy Metal Rocks is scheduled for Oct. 10 to 12 at the Timberland Road training facility used for VIU’s Heavy Equipment Operator training program.
Students will rotate through 16 equipment stations to learn about heavy machinery including excavators, backhoes, bulldozers and graders. Machines will range from existing equipment at the site to donated brand-new units being loaned just for the Heavy Metal Rocks event.
At each station an experienced equipment operator will mentor students on the machine operation, safety and capabilities.
“Several key industry partners are joining forces for the first time to show young people that careers in construction trades are a viable and lucrative option in today’s job market,” said Spence.
Heavy Metal Rocks participants will get a free eight-hour online course in Construction Safety Training (CSTS), which normally costs $75. “This program and certification will look great on students’ resumes,” said Spence.
“Employers in the north have told me that seeing Heavy Metal Rocks on a resume holds a lot of weight when they review job applications.”
Greg Baynton, CEO of Vancouver Island Construction Association added, “The BC Construction labour force requirements is forecast to rise between 2012-2020 and an estimated 44,000 positions will need to be filled during the forecast period. At least 24,000 of these positions will be new apprentice entrants, and up to 20 percent of them on Vancouver Island.
“Events like Heavy Metal Rocks Nanaimo are crucial to exposing Vancouver Island youth to the fabulous opportunities in the construction industry.”
Each student will be provided with appropriate safety gear for the three-day event with the exception of steel toed boots.
Students currently enrolled in grades 10 and 11 in school districts # 68 and # 69 can apply for Heavy Metal Rocks through their high school counselors.
Experienced operators all over Vancouver Island are invited to participate in the event as mentors or volunteers.
Spence said Heavy Metal Rocks events are held province-wide, and often involve retirees and employed operators who volunteer their time to help out. They provide valuable career information as well as mentorship to the students, she said.
Corporate sponsor expressions of interest in the event are encouraged.
For further information, contact Spence at 250-740-6130 or email email@example.com.