An exciting partnership between School District No. 74 (Gold Trail) and Thompson Rivers University will bear fruit next month, when the Mobile Welding Program comes to Clinton. The program is delivered by Thompson Rivers University, and will enroll 12 learners: eight school-aged students and four adults.
The program will take place at the former Clinton Elementary School site, with students utilizing a mobile trades training lab. The lab, which cost $1.3 million and took a year to build, is housed in a 53-foot trailer that bears the motto “Anytime Anywhere Anyplace”.
The trailer expands to provide 1,000 square feet of classroom and teaching space and up to 12 training stations. Each training station is individual and self-contained, and the trailer is powered by generators. A second supply trailer contains the state of the art grinding equipment, materials, and tooling used in the course.
The program is 840 hours in total, and lasts approximately 28 weeks. It will finish in August 2015, and when it is completed students will come away with an excellent foundation for moving on with their welding careers, and upgrading their skills.
During the first weeks of the course students get acquainted with their hand tools and complete small projects. After that they begin using welding processes, and for the remainder of the course will mostly be doing welding and cutting, using a variety of ways to develop proficiency.
Students who are successful in both the program and in writing the ITA Certificate of Qualification will have their Welding Levels 1 and 2 (the old Welding Level C). They will then receive their log books and must complete 300 hours of practical work, at which time they are employable as welders.
The TRU Mobile Welding Program is able to go to any interested community in the southern interior of B.C., with the Thompson Interior Mobile Training Committee deciding where the trailer will go. Lillooet, Clearwater, Chase, and Merritt are among the communities that have hosted the program, which is a boon to rural areas, enabling students to avoid the cost or relocating to a larger centre for training.