The School of Construction and the Environment once again welcomed a group of high school students into its Welding Department. From June 25 to 29, eight North Vancouver School District high school students put on safety boots and blue coveralls to participate in the “Mind Over Metal Welding Camp” – a collaboration of BCIT, CWB Welding Foundation, the North Vancouver School District and the Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation.
The School has been running a spring break welding camp every March since 2016. The June Welding Camp was put on for students of Indigenous descent from the North Vancouver School District. The Camp offers an introduction to welding to at risk youth, with a view to introducing high school students to the welding trade, and to opening up their minds to the various possibilities offered by a career in the trades.
Mark Flynn, Chief Instructor for the Welding Department has been involved in the camp since it was first introduced. “The program is a great initiative to give students a chance to have access to a great training facility and instruction. Most students that come through high school do not have as much exposure to trades programs as compared to academic programs. For some, this Welding Camp is their first hands-on experience, which can open up their eyes to something that they may not have thought about in the past. We are focused on welding but try to expose the students to other trades and programs and expand their knowledge of these avenues. There are opportunities for young people to have a long-term successful career in a trade, if they see something they like, go for it.”
“At first I was pretty scared, but then after a few days, it was pretty cool to be able to weld things together,” one student shared of his experience.
The Camp was such a success that the North Vancouver School District plans to continue with the project on an ongoing basis. BCIT has been offering the Spring Break Mind Over Metal Welding Camp to Burnaby School District youth since 2016.
If you would like more information about Mind Over Metal Welding Camps, please contact Laurie Therrien, Manager, Corporate Training and Industry Services, BCIT School of Construction and the Environment.