Mark, District Career Supervisor, Shuswap

two welding students

We talked with Mark Marino to learn more about his work with students developing their career skills. With fellow educators across the province, he recently helped develop the Careers Skills and Training Toolkit, which helps students get a head-start to hands-on learning.

How long have you been in education, and how do you help students get a head-start on a career path?

I’ve worked in education for 19 years, 11 of them in the Career Department. The dedicated and creative career programs team in SD 83 has been able to secure numerous partnerships with employers over the years that have given students the opportunity to get a head-start in their chosen career path.

What is the Careers Skills and Training Toolkit, and how was it developed?Mark.png

The toolkit is an online resource with tools, strategies and contacts that districts and schools can use to start a career program from its infancy or re-tool an existing program. Successful career education programs in schools help students learn from a young age what options and opportunities are available to them in the skilled trades and other careers.

But starting a career program can be challenging. You have to consider regional and provincial employment opportunities and ensure that it’s meeting the needs of youth.

How do you hope it will help schools expand choices and supports for students?

We hope it will provide schools with practical ideas on promoting trades training and dual credit opportunities in their district or school. We also hope the toolkit will connect schools and districts together throughout the province.

Is there anything else you’d like people to know about skills training?

Skills training is good for our economy and our students in so many ways. Students come out of skills training programs with a skill set making them immediately employable and, in many cases, a sense of confidence they didn’t have before taking the program.  I really do feel that skills training programs are a great example of experiential learning that engages students.

For many of the students that take dual credit programs, it is the highlight of their K-12 education.