The continuing studies pre-employment welding program at the Medicine Hat College (MHC) Brooks campus reported that 100 percent of their students received jobs prior to completing the course, which according to instructor Lee Gall is reflective of the growing demand for welders in southern Alberta.
“The industry is booming right now, they are looking for every level of welder from journeyman to apprentice,” said Gall. “Through my connections I was able to help facilitate the process. I know what my students are all capable of so I was able to match their skills with the correct employer- each student excels in different areas.”
Gall explains that he doesn’t foresee the demand slowing down, which according to Statistics Canada is an accurate assumption. The demand for skilled trades is expected to increase by 12% in the Lethbridge/Medicine Hat region between 2012- 2016. The growth in welding is expected to locally exceed what is estimated provincially.
The pre-employment welding program is a way to help address that demand. It covers the same material as the traditional apprenticeship program, but students do not have to be employed/indentured to be accepted to this training. Those who pass will have skills equivalent to a first year trade apprentice and be eligible to write the Alberta Apprenticeship & Industry Training First Period Theory Exam for the welding trade.
Gall explained that for most individuals this will be a starting point to pursuing more development. However, mentioned that for some it is a way to make them more employable. “I had a few students taking the course that already had a job, however when their employer saw that they were advancing their skills they gave them an opportunity to move forward in the company.”
Offered once a year, the next intake for the pre-employment program will be in January 2015. There is a max of 12 seats allotted for the course; Gall anticipates that seats will fill up quickly so encourages those interested to register soon. Classes will be offered Tuesday and Thursday evenings and all day Saturdays.
For more information on the program visit www.mhc.ab.ca; registration is now open. To stay up-to-date on what is happening at the Brooks campus, follow them on Twitter @Brooks_MHC or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MHCBrooks.
Maps Phone Directory News & Events