The Construction Foundation of BC’s Skills Ready initiative is partnering with Milieu Children & Family services for a Trades Exploration Camp that introduces participants to several trades-related activities over the course of five days as they work to design, assemble and finish a group picnic table project, as well as smaller individual projects during the week. The camp is being coordinated by Skills Ready Director of Project Operations Rene Ragetli and Red Seal Sheet Metal Worker and Safety Officer Sheila Sadler.
“Skills Ready has done a number of short hands-on workshops at the South Van Youth Centre using simple wood and metal working hand tools over the past year,” explained Ragetli. “The youth have had success making iPad holders, copper bracelets and metal toolboxes. They have become familiar with our Skills Ready staff and are ready to take on the challenge of a Trades Exploration Camp.”
The hands-on camp features the welding, assembling and bolting together of steel structures, ‘toolbox talk’, measurement and drilling exercises and application of branding and design work, along with discussions on workplace safety, a career Q & A session and more.
“We have had the opportunity to work with Rene on numerous projects over the past year,” said Emilie Simpson, Youth Services Coordinator for Milieu at the South Vancouver Youth Centre. “Rene’s skill and passion for the trades is what helps connect with our youth at the Centre. Many of our youth look forward to when Rene comes in to see what new skills they will learn; whether it’s bending copper to make bracelets, creating and molding a metal toolbox, or a week-long wood working project. This provides our youth with a great combination of teamwork, learning new skills, and having fun.”
Through the camp’s activities, the youth—aged 15-18—will have constructive fun in a friendly, supportive environment while having an opportunity to explore different careers in the trade, learning how to safely use a variety of common tools and equipment, developing a sense of teamwork by working together on a project they will all use at the end of the camp and building connections with a training provider.
“One of the workshops Skills Ready facilitated at the Youth Centre was post-COVID, so we have already had an opportunity to develop protocols and instruct the youth in distancing, sanitizing and using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in a work environment,” added Ragetli. “We are holding the camp outdoors to minimize risk and keeping the number of participants to less than 10 to allow for greater distancing. Proper hand washing and sanitizing will be employed along with mask and glove wearing whenever practical.”
The camp, supported by Ironworkers Local 97 who provided space for metal working as well as an instructor, culminates with a picnic lunch and a game of ultimate frisbee on Friday, August 15.
About the Construction Foundation of BC
The Construction Foundation builds community through engagement in charitable initiatives and a commitment to industry focused education and research initiatives that benefit all British Columbians. For more information, please visit www.constructionfoundation.ca
About Milieu Children & Family Services
Milieu Children & Family Services exists for the benefit of the youth it supports. Milieu’s mission is to empower and support people as valued, contributing citizens in communities. Milieu is well known for services that are innovative and committed to person-centred practice. By working closely with other services agencies, businesses and the public, they increase community inclusion and citizenship opportunities for youth.