PORT MOODY, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwired) -- 05/24/13 -- The BC Parks and Public Works Group (bcPPWG) and the Industry Training Authority (ITA) acknowledged 26 parks and public works employees from across British Columbia for their participation in the pilot stage of the Parks and Public Works Operations Worker ITA Occupational Certificate. The event took place at Port Moody's Centennial Public Works Day, where the first successful challengers of the project received an occupational certificate from ITA that formally recognizes their knowledge, skills and experience.
Employers and associations of BC's parks and public works sector were recognized for their support of the project.
"The support of employers and stakeholders of BC's parks and public works sector was overwhelming," said the committee chair of bcPPWG, Carolyn MacLaren.
The event took place at Port Moody's Centennial Public Works Day with representatives from bcPPWG, ITA, and employers and associations from BC's parks and public works sector from across the province in attendance.
The Parks and Public Works Operations Worker ITA Occupational Certification Project aims to streamline the attraction, hiring and retention of experienced workers, and to provide the foundation for the development of training packages to address skills gaps. bcPPWG created the new occupational credential for employees engaged in water distribution, sewer and wastewater treatment, road and sidewalk maintenance, and park maintenance.
Master of Ceremonies Neal Carley, General Manager of Engineering and Parks for the City of Port Moody, said he was pleased to be part of this important event. "The BC Parks and Public Works Group and the Industry Training Authority worked together to create a program which will, ultimately, provide BC's parks and public works industry with better job mobility, career advancement opportunities, improved job security and new training options," he said.
"This is about the introduction of a new provincial credential - an occupational certificate - that recognizes achievement of industry-set standards of skill and knowledge acquired through a learning pathway other than traditional apprenticeship," said Kevin Evans, CEO, ITA. "How the skills were acquired is secondary to what was learned, and to the value that the certificate holder brings to the job site."
During the pilot phase of this ground-breaking project, a group of 25 challengers were assessed by a newly formed team of Registered Assessors who successfully completed their training, and finalized testing of the assessment tools, before challenger assessments: John Evans of the Corporation of Delta, Stacey Harding of the District of West Kelowna, Bryan Shepherd of the City of Richmond, and Terry Baird of the Tsawwassen First Nation.
Challengers met a short list of prerequisites before being formally assessed. The assessment process included a combination of a written quiz, a technical conversation with an assessor, and a demonstration of several work related skills in a controlled setting.
The enhanced assessments took place at the Corporation of Delta's facility over a period of three days, and individuals from Richmond, Vancouver, Delta, Port Moody, Central Saanich, Nelson, Gibsons, Westbank First Nation and New Westminster challenged the credential as part of the pilot project.
The BC Recreation and Parks Association administered the assessment process.
"This Parks and Public Works Operations Worker ITA Occupational Certificate is a true innovation in the field of training standards for our industry, with results expected to positively impact every municipality across the province," said Suzanne Strutt, CEO, British Columbia Recreation and Parks Association. "The BCRPA is proud to have played such an integral role in the project."
bcPPWG expects to open applications to additional challengers in the near future; a new micro-site with complete program and application information for both challengers and assessors is available at www.bcworks.ca/certify.
"Parks and public works employees make a real difference to our communities," said Neal Carley. "We want people to know about the many career opportunities available in parks and public works, and that we are actively hiring across the province."
About BC Parks and Public Works Group
Since July 2009, the BC Parks and Public Works Group (bcPPWG) has been working to address human resource and labour market issues faced by the parks and public works sector in British Columbia. Together with industry stakeholders and employers, bcPPWG helps employees to build skill sets that are transferable, develops cross training programs, and provides opportunities for advancement and career planning within the parks and public works sector. The group is working to raise public awareness of the sector, and is actively recruiting skilled potential employees. www.bcworks.ca.
The Industry Training Authority (ITA) manages BC's industrial trades training and certification system, and works with employers, employees, industry, labour, training providers and governments to increase opportunities in the trades. www.itabc.ca.
For interviews or more information: Crocodile Creative
Director of Marketing
604-888-8807 or Cel: 778-991-3409
Industry Training Authority
Director of Communications
778-785-2410 or Cel: 604-307-2122
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