Second year electrical apprentice Isaiah has found his niche in the electrical field. Having the opportunity to take the 40-week BCIT electrical foundation program, while still in high school, he was granted his level one of his technical training. As a recent graduate he has been working in the field and gaining as many hours as possible so that he can return to school en route to completing his apprenticeship.
Isaiah first got into the construction industry at just 15 years-old, working with a small crew on renovation jobs as a labourer. He was introduced to the different facets of working on-site and has remained with the company that now employs 20 people.
As a self-proclaimed hands-on learner, construction has fit well with Isaiah’s preferred way of earning a living, which he can do while he moves through his apprenticeship thanks to the ‘earn while you learn’ approach to trades training. Isaiah is also encouraged by the fact that his daily hours on the job site are helping to shape his future as well. The more hours he earns, the closer he moves towards the next step of his apprenticeship training, eventual journeyman status, and increased wages.
“I feel like I’m half a step ahead of kids coming out of high school,” said Isaiah. “I feel like I actually have a career, I have an idea of where I’m going—I kind of have a direction which is nice.”
As someone who enjoys the active, ever-changing environment of the job site, Isaiah’s in-class training of his electrical apprenticeship didn’t have him 100 percent convinced it was the right move for him, but once he was able to apply a practical application to the theory, things changed.
“Honestly, I was kind of unsure if I wanted to do it when I started off,” added Isiah. “But now, getting out of schooling and I’m actually in the field– you’re getting to do the work and it’s not all just math and this and that, it opens up a whole different page of the opportunity you actually have…It was a lot of book work [to get started in electrical] and once you get into the actual field its great, love it.”
Isaiah has been working full time since February and is an enthusiastic advocate for people who may be considering a career in trades.
“I would definitely recommend giving it a try. You don’t have anything to lose, you have a solid job, you have stable hours that are working towards something. Definitely, for anyone that’s out there looking and worried like ‘Oh what’s next for me?’ or something like that, it’s definitely something that you need to try…just give it a chance, it never hurts. It’s only a couple of weeks [of schooling] and then you can go anywhere from there.”
With a jump start on his career, Isaiah is enjoying his electrical journey as he continues to apprentice and accumulate hours and experience.
“Sometimes, you don’t even realize you’re working.”