The demand for construction workers is soaring and so too is the demand for apprentices. A Mainroad Group company, MRC Total Build, a lower mainland general contracting company, is filling the gap with paid internships in construction for Surrey Schools Learning Centre youth.
In January, 2016, MRC Total Build launched a mentorship pilot program with Surrey Schools District Career Education offering high school students the opportunity to explore a career in trades. Students were teamed up with a Total Build mentor at a project site where they wore a green hard hat to identify them to the entire crew as a “student worker” so everyone was looking out for their safety.
The mentorship provides students with meaningful, hands-on work experience including specific training to use power and hand tools, exposure to various construction equipment and site operations. Students learn employability skills such as time management, communication skills and the importance of safe work practices. The program enables students to make more informed career choices while for others it can confirm their interest in a trades career.
Following the pilot, two students are now pursuing careers in welding and carpentry while the third student ruled out a trades career in favour of becoming an English Teacher. “We’re providing work opportunities for young people to give them the skills they need to be successful in a competitive job market. It’s a win – win,” says David Crilly, General Manager for MRC Total Build.
Georgina Hopps, Career Coordinator for Surrey Schools shares Crilly’s vision for these students, “Our Learning Centre students are fortunate to have been given this opportunity because the MRC Total Build Mentorship goes a step beyond our traditional work experience programs. While we offer courses and work experiences where students can complete technical trades training, this mentorship opportunity allows students to get out in the field and do real hands-on work, on a real project site, with a boss who holds them accountable for their attendance and performance. In the end, if they’ve done a good job, and they’ve put in the effort, there is potential for the students to get hired on permanently depending on the projects available. That’s real life”.