Saanich students find their fit for career choices

Hundreds of middle school students take part in WorkBC Find Your Fit Tour at Glanford middle school

David Oh tests his construction skills

David Oh tests his construction skills

Hundreds of Greater Victoria students crowded through the doors of Glanford middle school last week to learn a few tricks of the trade.

The WorkBC Find Your Fit Tour set up in the Saanich school’s gym last week to offer students some insights on the types of jobs that will be awaiting them after graduation.

“We set up a really engaging atmosphere with in-demand jobs and activities that showcase those jobs, [along with activities] that showcase skills necessary for those jobs, and how transferable those skills are,” said Ryley Ellement, a tour manager with WorkBC.

Students in Grades 5 through 7 filed through the various work stations to try their hands at different occupations through the interactive displays.

“We have everything from construction inspector, which has a really cool play on blueprints and reading blueprints and attention to detail,” said Ellement. “We have an electrician technician station that has a snap circuit game for kids to experience putting together circuits and learn how currents work. And there’s a carpentry game that showcases skills necessary for trades that involve manual and hand dexterity.”

Other stations highlighted careers in nursing, welding, accounting, computer programming, among others.

“It can either help them find a fit, help them engage and maybe understand skills that they didn’t know that they had,” said Ellement, adding many students may have an idea of what they’d like to do, but are unsure of the best way to achieve their goals. “How do I do that? What school do I go to, where do I start? There’s so many questions that we like to chop down.”

Arbutus Grade 7 student Bob Vodden was working furiously at the electrician station, assembling and reassembling different connections.

“I’ve been trying to figure out the most compact way to build a disc watcher. I’ve tried multiple designs but I haven’t quite settled on one yet.”

He said the Find Your Fit program is a good way for students to figure out what they want to do when they finish their schooling.

“I think it’s really good and kind of shows us a whole bunch of opportunities.”

Vodden has already made up his mind on a career as a game designer. “Being able to create whatever world I desire and having other people interact with that world just sounds really good.”

Vodden’s classmate Nevan McLarty says while he was familiar with many of the skills being displayed, he believes the program is a great way for students to discover their interest.

“It’s helping people see what their passion is.”

McLarty is leaning towards a career as an electrical engineer or software designer, adding Find Your Fit gives him a better perspective on what it will be like doing those jobs.

“Other people might think a computer programmer is someone in their basement typing on a computer, but really you can be up in a highrise building or the head of a company,” he said.

The Find Your Fit Tour doesn’t just provide students with information on the skills needed for various careers, but gives them insight on what conditions they can expect when they eventually do enter the workforce.

“If somebody wants to be a vet or a dentist, we can let them know the programs you can take for that, what they require,” said Ellement. “And we can also show them information on where those jobs will be territory wise, what the employment rate will be like when you’re out of school, can you find government funding or grants for this particular job.”

He says the Find Your Fit Tour gets them ready to prepare for their future and shows them the importance of a post-secondary education.

“It gets them interested. Technology has changed, the jobs have changed,” said Ellement. “You don’t just have one career, you can have many careers. And if you don’t see a career here that you want, create your own job, be an entrepreneur.”