Aboriginal Tupper Tech Student Graduates with Sheet Metal Skills and Great Job Prospects

This year, Jennifer Sampson simultaneously graduated from high school and completed the Level One Sheet Metal Fabrication foundation program at BCIT. She says the double accomplishment is all thanks to Tupper Tech, VSB Career Programs and the ACCESS Trades programs.

ACCESS Trades provides opportunities for urban First Nations people to complete technical training and begin an apprenticeship. The program provides participants with free tuition, a bus pass, a stipend to attend school and the occasional grocery gift card.

For Sampson, her introduction to sheet metal fabrication and ACCESS came at Tupper Tech, an innovative secondary school trades training program run by teacher Russ Evans. During her time studying and working under Evans, Sampson became increasingly interested in BCIT’s sheet metal fabrication program.

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On April 2 2012 the students from the ACCESS-BCIT Metal Fabrication and Boilermakers programs toured Seaspan's Vancouver Shipyard. The tour, lead by Welding foreman Brad Moe, was fun and informative for staff and students alike. Thank you Seaspan!!

ACCESS Trades staff attended the ITA Aboriginal Day Celebrations at Klahowya Village in Stanley Park on June 21 2011. ACCESS Trades staff are very proud that our own Sheet Metal apprentice David Ward was invited to attend as a guest speaker. David, it turns out, is a natural on stage. David entertained the audience with his great sense of humour and at the same time shared the value of trades training. Our gratitude goes out to our partner, the Industry Training Authority (Aboriginal Initiative) and the Federal-Provincial governments for their support of Aboriginal Training and Apprenticeship.

  Left to right. Kevin Evans (CEO ITA), Elizabeth Whitehawk (Welder) , David Ward (Sheet Metal apprentice), Gary McDermott (Director-ITA Aboriginal Initiatives), Faith Child (Welder), Adrian Koskie (Welder)
  Left to right. David Ward and Mary Polak, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation.


‘Electrician, Jennifer Azak was the 2009 winner of the Province Newspapers ‘Top Woman in Trades’ award.

Jennifer was presented with a $500.00 bursary by the Industry Training Authority to be passed on to a deserving apprentice. Jennifer generously donated the bursary to ACCESS Trades. The bursary will be presented to an apprentice on November 19 2009 at a dinner to honour Aboriginal trainees who have achieved their Red Seal Journey Certification.

Brian Pelletier, Program Manager with HRDC, Aboriginal Affairs Directorate, met with ACCESS Trades apprentices at BCIT on September 16 2009. Read more...

  George Abbott, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, attended an ACCESS dinner on November 19th 2009 to honour urban Aboriginal Red Seal Journey people and apprentices.




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