Jessica, Trades Teacher

T-shirt or long-sleeve. Turkey or ham. Android or iPhone. Some things in life are tough to choose, but there’s one choice Jessica Graham thinks is a no-brainer—entering a skills training program.

 “I’ve never seen opportunity like this,” says Jessica,  a trades teacher with School District No.60’s North Peace Secondary School. “The North is booming – our economy is growing and I seriously don’t see it slowing down anytime soon.”

B.C. is faced with a skills training opportunity that spans generations. Jessica, better known as Ms. Graham to her students knows this. Why? She lives, works, and grew-up in Northern B.C., and she knows how important it is that youth are aware of their skills training options and making informed career choices.

Youth need to know about their career options, Jessica says. More importantly, they need to be realistic about where and which jobs will be available. And B.C.’s parents are key. “Parents need to be switched on to B.C.’s labour market outlooks and aware of where the jobs are going to be in the future. The skills training opportunity and ultimately choices being made will really become a lot clearer.”

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Jessica has been a full-time trades teacher for just over two-years – a relatively new BCIT post-sec graduate; she knows the importance of planning early.

“I have friends who had no plan going into post-secondary – a general degree isn’t what it once was. I really see it as part of my job to inform students about the skills training stream and champion its outlook in B.C. I can’t say it enough – skills, skills, skills!”

For Jessica it comes down to choices. Today’s training is tomorrow’s careers – so she knows how important her role is in the future of B.C.’s economy.

B.C. expects one-million job openings by 2020 and over 40% will require skills and technical training. Get the skills you need today to match the labour market demand of tomorrow.