Popular School Works program now provides wage subsidies for apprenticeships

(Columbia Basin) – Businesses and organizations around the Basin can once again get support to hire students through Columbia Basin Trust’s School Works program. The program provides a wage subsidy of $8/hour to encourage employers to provide part-time employment to full-time high school and post-secondary students for a portion or all of the school year. It also helps ensure students gain work experience in the region.

Small businesses, non-profit and First Nations organizations and public bodies in the Basin may apply. Co-op and practicum student positions are also eligible.

South Slocan’s Drop Designs is one of the organizations that has participated. “The program allowed us to complete a large number of projects that we don’t have resources for,” said owner Myla Jillings. “It is a very large benefit for our company.”

Kootenay River Kampground, near Castlegar, was also able to take advantage of the program throughout the school year. “It enabled us to extend our hours and have a park attendant on duty to greet guests and provide tourists with directions and information,” said owner Mike Giesler. “We would not have been able to hire this position without this subsidy.”

For the first time, the program will also provide an $8/hour wage subsidy for first-level apprenticeship positions in the construction electrician, carpentry, heavy duty mechanic and automotive service technician programs.

“Through this subsidy, Basin employers will be able hire first-level apprentices and the apprentices will gain access to local training,” said Lisa Kilpatrick, Columbia Basin Trust Senior Manager, Delivery of Benefits. ”If this year works well, we hope to continue to provide this support for apprentices into the future.”

“We are very pleased to be working with the Trust to deliver the School Works Program again this year – our third year in a row,” said Tracey Whiting, Manager, Continuing Education and Contract Training at College of the Rockies. “It is exciting to see so many business owners accessing this funding opportunity.”

For more information on School Works and to download the application form, visit cbt.org/schoolworks2015, email schoolworks@cbt.org or call 1.877.489.2687 ext. 3584. Applications will be available on August 13, 2015.

Columbia Basin Trust supports efforts to deliver social, economic and environmental benefits to the residents of the Columbia Basin. To learn more about the Trust’s programs and initiatives, visit cbt.org or call 1.800.505.8998.

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