Apprenticeship placement a first for ‘Career Works’

Some skills can only be learned on the job and that’s just the road James Easton is taking as the first apprenticeship placement in the district with NCDS Career Works here.
For more than a month now, Easton has been working with D&A Construction, helping build everything from decks to sun rooms. And he’s loving it.
“I’m learning everything,” noted Easton, who was working on a major renovation at a Third Street West residence earlier this week.
“I’ve done carpentry, painting, siding, windows, everything so far,” he added. “And it suits me perfectly.”
The length of Easton’s apprenticeship may take thousands of work hours, and will be followed by a rigorous testing as per apprenticeship regulations.
If he succeeds, he will be a certified journeyman.
“James came looking for help finding the kind of job he wanted,” said NCDS staff member Kelli Veniot.
“He had worked with D & A before and it was his line of work,” she added. “So we contacted D & A and they were glad to take him aboard.”
Janet Plumridge, executive director of NCDS, offered some insight as to why they hadn’t been able to set up apprenticeships before.
“It’s been traditionally difficult to access apprenticeships in the north. It’s a big commitment on the part of the employer, and some communities just aren’t big enough to support that,” she noted.
“There are large shops, such as the mill, which are hard to get into, and smaller businesses, such as a contractor, which usually will not commit,” Plumridge explained.
“I really give an employer like Darrell DeGagne credit for doing this,” she added.
Plumridge also noted the Ministry of Education and Training, which funds both JobConnect and Apprenticeship Linkage programs, is interested in seeing more co-operation between the two in the near future.