A solution has been found for the coming year for the Professional Cook Training program offered at Rossland Secondary School in partnership with Selkirk College.
At a meeting of the Board of Education for School District #20 (Kootenay Columbia) in early March, concerns were raised about potential problems for Rossland’s program as a result of the redesign of the provincial model for cooks’ training.
The new design, due to come into effect in the fall of 2009, has been developed by the Industry Training Authority (ITA) and Propel, the Industry Training Organization (ITO) for BC’s tourism, hospitality and food services sector. The goal of the new model is to ensure it meets the needs of employers and helps guide consistency in program delivery around the Province.
For post-secondary students taking the entire program at Selkirk College in Nelson, the change is relatively minor. Instead of three levels of training, each roughly 15 weeks long,” explains Kate Tognotti, Dean of Industry and Trades Training, “students will now take two levels, the first which will be 28 weeks and the second, 14 weeks. In between, the apprentices will be required to pick up some additional on-the-job experience with employers.”
The program at Rossland Secondary was originally designed so students completed the college’s Level I program in the final semester of Grade 12. The fear was that the new model would require two full semesters to complete. The added time commitment would make it difficult for students to fit in all the other courses they want or need prior to graduation and would also involve a lot of additional costs to the District without any additional funding.
In discussions involving the School District, Selkirk College, ITA and Propel personnel, agreement has been reached and the program will be able to go forward at Rossland Secondary School the coming school year.
An important element of the program will be to work with students to assist them to secure as many hours as possible of the required 1,000 hours of work in the trade required prior to entry into Level 2 of the apprenticeship program. By working with employers, starting as early as their Grade 11 year, students could complete many of those hours by the time they graduate. Members of the District’s Trades Employer Advisory Committee, which includes representation from the hospitality sector, recognized the role employers need to play to help our secondary school apprentices gain experience in the field. They will work with the District to help students gain the hours they need before moving onto to higher levels of training at the college.
“We’ll be watching how the new model unfolds,” notes Jan Morton, School District #20’s Director of Community Education. “The portion of the program taught at Rossland Secondary will mean a lot more theory and less hands-on practice but if students can get that hands-on experience through our employers, the new model has lots of great potential.”
First published on May 04, 2009