Workplace Alternative Trades Training (WATT) graduate Alexandra has found a home in the electrical field after completing the pre-apprentice program last February. The 25-year-old has been working steadily for the past eight months since completing the WATT program and entering the work force.
“I worked in mill and finishing shops prior to electrical,” Alexandra explained. “I knew I wanted to be a tradeswoman since I was 11, it was just a matter of finding what was going to fit. To be honest, I was intimidated before I started. Now that I’m in it, I feel like it’s the perfect fit—I understand the majority of what’s been going on and I’ve been picking up on things very quickly.”
Alexandra came across the WATT program after her boyfriend’s co-worker—he had taken the program himself—gave her a flyer. She had always been confident that a career in the trades was the right route for her, but wasn’t entirely sure of what trade, exactly. After taking a look at the flyer, she wasted no time and made a call to set up an interview as soon as possible. Alexandra was accepted into WATT program and successfully completed the three-week program before being dispatched to an IBEW contractor as a pre-apprentice.
“WATT was a really great experience and I really enjoyed all the workshops that happened during it. Conduit, wiring diagram exercises, they really covered a lot of ground.”
The WATT program places an emphasis on hands-on learning so that graduates are prepared to transition immediately into a real work setting. In addition to hands-on training, Alexandra and her cohort acquired multiple certificates such as First Aid, Fall Protection and WHIMIS, among others, during their three-weeks of training to bolster their resumes.
“They teach you what you need to know,” she added. “It definitely helped me because my co-workers and bosses didn’t have to help me with the basics on the job or with tools and it made the learning period much quicker for both myself and easier for them. Having the WATT program set us up with tools was also a huge advantage, it would have taken me ages to get everything I’ve been provided with. I knew I was prepared heading into my job and it was very helpful that I didn’t have to rely on co-workers or my bosses right out of the gate.”
Equipped with the training and tools needed to be successful, Alexandra has found steady work in the mid-Vancouver Island area and plans to head to school for her first year of required in-class technical training in May of 2021. She is thankful for the opportunity the WATT program provided her to jump start her career as an electrician.
“I felt like I really didn’t have to worry about a lot of the external things while I was in the program,” added Alexandra. “Our instructors Yvonne and Martin were always encouraging us to ask questions and were always ready to help. They took care of everything. All I had to do was focus on learning.
“I wouldn’t be where I’m at without the WATT program.”