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10 Agassiz, Hope students enter world of welding after graduation

2 recent welding graduates are from AESS
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Ten students from Hope and Agassiz-Harrison schools recently graduated a six-month welding program courtesy of the Thompson Rivers University mobile training unit, which visits local schools to aid in industry education. (Photo/Pattie Desjardins)

Ten students from Fraser-Cascade School District 78 are ready for a bright future in welding.

The students – including two from Agassiz-Elementary Secondary School – recently graduated from a six-month welding program through Thompson Rivers University (TRU) mobile training unit.

The training unit, according to TRU, is ““a 12 welding-bay expandable trailer capable of delivering the welding foundation program and other industry contract training in smaller and remote communities.” This mobile unit has also been to Agassiz, Chase, Clearwater, Clinton, Lillooet, and Mica Creek.

A recent report from the Canadian Welding Bureau (CWB) Group, Canada faces a shortage of 25,000 welders within the next five years, meaning welders like the recent graduates are entering a hot job market.

Local manufacturer Tycrop was at the graduation, offering each graduate a hat, t-shirt and job application; each student was offered a job.

Students from Agassiz and Hope-area elementary schools got to visit the mobile training unit back in November to watch their fellow students practice their craft.

Current and future students in Hope schools will have the chance to use two new portable welding units from Calgary-based energy transportation company Enbridge.

“Having students work on and learn from modern equipment allows for greater exposure to the metal industry,” said Hope Secondary vice principal Karl Koslowsky in a recent statement. “It gives students an opportunity to picture themselves in one of many career paths in the field. This donation means that students have access to more current industry standard equipment—we’ll ultimately be able to increase the capacity of the program.”

There are more than 45 students from the district who have graduated from the welding program.

– With files from Kemone Moodley