Grant pays for the tuition of 12 KPU students in the Faculty of Trades and Technology

The grant was created to help individuals whose employment was affected by the pandemic

A student fuses wires together. (Flickr/ The Verbatim Agency for American Education)

Twelve KPU students have been awarded a grant fund of $105,183, which will pay the students’ tuition towards the Electrical Foundation Program in the Faculty of Trades and Technology.

The community Workforce Development grant will ensure that the students receive hands-on education to take into the real world. The 24-week program will cover what students need to know for a level one apprenticeship.

Brain Moukperian, the dean of the Faculty of Trades and Technology, says the electrical program was chosen for the grant funding because it’s one of the most popular programs.

There were over 50 applicants on the waitlist for an upcoming program, so the faculty reached out to them to make sure they met the requirements, Moukperian says. Some of the requirements by the school included grade 12 math, English, and science.

One of the eligibility requirements included students being “underemployed or precariously employed.” Students with full-time jobs were not eligible for the grant.

The program started on March 11 and is being delivered in a hybrid format. Students have a set day where they meet online for lectures and also meet at the Cloverdale campus a few times to practice what they’re learning.

Moukperian says the ministry is working to help the “unemployed or precariously employed” individuals transition into finding new work.

“This is a great program. [Students] will have the opportunity to learn the basics,” says Moukperian.

The program is offered at least four times a year, and so far this semester is off to a good start. Moukperian adds that the first test has shown high marks from the students.

“We’re really excited about what the ministry is doing, how my students are doing, and we’re really off and running well,” he says.

Katie Coutts, one of the students who received the grant, says she’s grateful for the help.

“[It’s] great that I did get accepted into this grant. It actually covers my textbooks, my tools, so, I feel like I can focus on my studies without having to worry about keeping a full-time job to pay for everything,” Coutts says.

Most of Coutts classes have been online, but recently she had the opportunity to go on campus to take an exam, and she says it was nice to see her classmates.

Once Coutts finishes this program, she will become a level one apprentice. After this, she will need to work for some time and then return to school for her level two apprenticeship, a program that will take ten weeks.

Once Coutts is done with her level two apprenticeship, she will work once more and return back to school for her level three apprenticeship.

“I’m definitely really grateful for this grant. I do really feel supported from my instructor Mike Mann and from KPU itself. I’m just really excited that I had the opportunity to be part of this grant,” Coutts says.

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