October 17, 2023 (Kelowna, BC) – Coast Capital and CFBC’s “Road to Red Seal” program launched in March of 2023 and its support to British Columbia’s apprentices has been increasing steadily ever since. Highlighted by a one-on-one approach for individuals seeking their Red Seal endorsement, the program is now home to several unique and inspiring stories of accomplishment and efforts.
The Road to Red Seal program provides support to apprentices working through their technical training and exams by providing tools necessary to achieve success. These tools help identify individual learning styles and gaps in their learning by building on their strengths using self-assessments and a one-on-one personal approach. Currently, the completion rate for Red Seal trades in BC sits below 41-percent, a statistic that Road to Red Seal intends to improve through its efforts.
Apprentices (ranging from Level 1 to 4) accessing Road to Red Seal’s services are as varied as the supports the program provides. Some of the barriers to success include lack of note taking skills, information retention, struggling with exam writing and anxiety, to name a few. The Road to Red Seal team, along with program partners’ and their expertise, identify any possible, undetected and/or previously diagnosed learning difficulties to help construct individual learning plans.
“We’re transforming them into being active learners using a variety of learning techniques,” explained Learning Catalyst Dave Lovisa, a Red Seal carpenter who has been involved with the Road to Red Seal program since launch. “I have the same goal as they do and that is to get them over the finish line. I had my challenges back in the day, I know the frustration that exams and studying can provide.”
The first step is about building relationships, getting to know the apprentice, where they are coming from and helping them move forward with their personal and professional dreams. The program’s individualized approach sees apprentices working closely with Catalysts such as Lovisa and has resulted in both client and staff walking away with positive experiences on a personal and professional level to draw upon. One of Road to Red Seal’s recent success stories involves a young Indigenous carpenter from Lillooet, who recently challenged and passed his Level 1 SLE (Skills Level Exam). Despite facing a number of challenges that included being evacuated from his home due to this past summer’s wildfires and assisting family members in need (among other obstacles), he was able to achieve success in his Level 1 journey.
“For me, one of the most enjoyable aspects of my role with Road to Red Seal is helping people that are motivated to help themselves,” added Lovisa. “They’re doing all the heavy lifting, they’ll do anything to succeed and they put a lot of faith in us and the program. Helping people, that’s why we’re all here. The majority of the people we work with are very, very thankful for the effort we put in.”
Following an initial screening process, apprentices accepted into the Road to Red Seal program are welcomed and provided support, resources and tutoring services free of cost, thanks to funding provided through Coast Capital and the Government of BC. An increase in demand for support is anticipated as the province’s need for trained workers continues to rise.
For more information on the work being done by CFBC and to donate, please visit constructionfoundation.ca.