Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Bow Valley College and Saskatchewan Polytechnic partner on essential skills training

Partnership improves learning outcomes for Saskatchewan Polytechnic carpentry and electrical students

April 30, 2019 – Bow Valley College and Saskatchewan Polytechnic are partnering through a multi-year agreement to embed essential skills supports into apprenticeship, applied certificate and certificate programs to improve learning outcomes for carpentry and electrical students.

The model involves identifying apprentices and students with skills gaps early in their program so instructors can deliver essential skills interventions before learners get behind in technical training. This approach to building essential skills gives learners the tools they need to acquire technical knowledge efficiently.

“Workplace skills are in demand more than ever and bring value to today’s national and international employers,” states David Harvey, dean of Continuing Learning at Bow Valley College in Calgary. “Having the opportunity to share resources and knowledge between the two institutions creates new opportunities for students to succeed academically and in their workplaces.”

In addition to improving learner outcomes, the project will evaluate the return-on-training investment to encourage further integration of essential skills into apprenticeship, applied certificate and certificate training programs at Sask Polytech.

“Improving essential skills is one way to ensure carpentry and electrical apprentices and students will succeed in training and the workforce,” says Paul Carter, Sask Polytech dean for the Schools of Construction and Transportation. “We are excited to partner with Bow Valley College on this innovative programming.”

This project is funded by the Government of Canada’s Adult Learning, Literacy and Essential Skills program. Essential skills provide the foundation for learning other skills and enable apprentices and students to better prepare for, get and keep a job and succeed at work. Reading, writing, oral communication and digital skills are all essential skills needed to succeed in the workplace.

“Strong essential skills help apprentices excel while they’re learning on the job and in technical training,” says Loreena Spilsted, Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission chief operating officer. “We are pleased that Saskatchewan Polytechnic, our largest training provider, is partnering with Bow Valley College to enhance essential skills for Carpenter and Construction Electrician apprentices. These skills are lifelong; they will benefit apprentices long after they’ve achieved journeyperson certification.”

Bow Valley College is Calgary and region's only Comprehensive Community College - with nearly 16,000 full- and part-time students, is a leader in business and health career training, community studies, creative technologies, adult upgrading, and English Language Learning.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic serves students through applied learning opportunities at campuses in Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Regina and Saskatoon, and through extensive distance education opportunities. Programs serve every economic and public service sector. As a polytechnic, the organization provides the depth of learning appropriate to employer and student need, including certificate, diploma and degree programs, and apprenticeship training. Saskatchewan Polytechnic engages in applied research, drawing on faculty expertise to support innovation by employers, and providing students the opportunity to develop critical thinking skills.

The SATCC oversees and administers the apprenticeship system in Saskatchewan. The organization trains apprentices; certifies tradespeople and apprentices; regulates the apprenticeship system; and promotes apprenticeship. Institutions such as Saskatchewan Polytechnic are contracted by the SATCC to provide apprenticeship training across the province.