When it comes to cutting-edge trades training that meets industry demand, BCIT has once again demonstrated it is leading the charge.
BCIT has partnered with Canadian Tire stores across BC to create an automotive apprenticeship training program uniquely tailored to Canadian Tire’s service standards and specifications, as well as to meet the growing demand for highly skilled and qualified Red Seal technicians.
The BCIT Canadian Tire Apprenticeship Training program is designed to instill the skills valued by Canadian Tire Service Centers, and to ensure Canadian Tire technicians are some of the best trained and most highly skilled automotive technicians in the industry. As a major incentive for apprentices, Canadian Tire also covers all tuition, books and other costs associated with the program, including travel and accommodation in some cases.
Charting a new path in automotive trades training
Innovation has always been at the core of BCIT Automotive programs, and this apprenticeship training program is no exception.
Mubasher Faruki, Associate Dean, Automotive, says the program is the first of its kind in BC, and possibly in Canada.
“Canadian Tire contacted BCIT to create a customized program in which we train apprentices, who are all Canadian Tire service technicians, in a cohort-based model,” says Mubasher. “We really broke away from the traditional type of apprenticeship training being done in the province, or across the country for that matter, by incorporating specific and pertinent customized training unique to Canadian Tire.”
Apprentices receive a total of 32 weeks of training, spread out over eight-week intervals at each level of the four-year program. Graduates receive a BCIT Diploma of Trades Training and become Red Seal-certified automotive service technicians.
Mubasher says one of the main goals was to help the automotive industry with attracting and retaining technicians, and BCIT did its part by helping the apprentices to see their programs through to completion.
“Every Canadian Tire technician who started the program four years ago passed their Red Seal examination – that’s 24 for 24 apprentices who started their training, completed their training,” says Mubasher. “Canadian Tire was extremely happy about that, and that’s one of the main reasons why they chose to partner with BCIT.”
He says another key factor for Canadian Tire choosing BCIT was the instructors having industry experience, and therefore being intimately familiar with the expectations of today’s automotive industry.
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Collaborative innovation leads to shared success
In going through the program, apprentices receive not only best-in-class automotive training from BCIT, but they also benefit from their employer, Canadian Tire, investing in their success and well-being.
Carl Head has been with Canadian Tire for 58 years and is currently Associate Dealer at the Nanaimo, BC location, and says the program has been hugely successful.
“As someone who has been in this business for quite some time, I can tell you it’s been one of the best experiences that we’ve ever had,” says Carl.
The Nanaimo store currently has four automotive technicians who have gone through the program and earned their Red Seal, and Carl says he’s witnessed the positive effects firsthand.
“We want to instill in them a pride in their trade,” says Carl. “We’ve found that after completing the program, they return to Canadian Tire enthused and anxious to display the skills they’ve learned at BCIT.”
As Mubasher explains, the program provides significant and lasting benefits for all parties involved.
“BCIT is able to further demonstrate its ability to produce graduates who are valuable in the automotive industry, and Canadian Tire benefits from having long-term employees who are highly skilled and dedicated to their profession.”
Carl also points out that the Canadian Tire apprentices develop a sense of comradery since they all complete the program together.
Lifelong learning to stay current in the automotive trade
Perhaps the most notable aspect of the Program is that the learning doesn’t end once the apprentices obtain their Red Seal certification. Mubasher says the next objective is focused on advancement, to ensure the automotive technicians’ skills and knowledge remain up to date.
“BCIT and Canadian Tire are committed to providing continuous training for the technicians, so that as new technologies enter the marketplace, their skills remain relevant,” says Mubasher.
He says he is hopeful that their training will continue throughout their entire career as automotive technicians, which is music to the ears of Canadian Tire operators like Carl.
“I can’t emphasize enough that the partnership has been extremely positive for Canadian Tire, and my hat’s off to BCIT for working with us on the program,” says Carl.
Learn more about the BCIT Canadian Tire Apprenticeship Training program and other full-time programs that pave the path to a hands-on career in Automotive, Collision, Refinishing, and Motorcycle and Small Engine.