Less than a year after implementing a web portal for apprentices registering for post-secondary training, 96 per cent of those attending Red Deer College have used the system.
The MyTradesecrets web portal allows apprentices seeking training at nine post-secondary institutions in Alberta. Five institutions in July 2016, one of which was Red Deer College, started an online registration process that is growing and making life easier for apprentices.
“A few years ago, when it was class registration time, we’d have people lining up and worrying about taking a day off and having to go in to try to get the class they wanted,” said From. “Now they can log in from wherever they are. They can register in a matter of a couple of minutes.”
Apprentices have MyTradesecrets accounts through Apprenticeship and Industry Training and use the class registration through it.
According to Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training statistics, in 2015-16, the last year with complete figures, Red Deer College had 3,462 students enrolled in technical training.
Some of the more popular apprenticeship programs are electrician, steamfitter/pipefitter, heavy equipment technician and carpentry.
Joel Gingrich, Red Deer College’s school of trades and technologies dean, said the online registration system has run smoothly so far.
At a recent meeting of the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Board, Gingrich and others heard from the provincial government who said the process of logging in and registering took, on average, two minutes for apprentices. Much faster than lining up at a college.
“Even if an apprentice runs into hiccups, there is a direct line the apprentice is able to phone in and RDC will help them through the process and get them registered,” said Gingrich.
Olds College will join the online registration program later this summer.
According to Alberta Advanced Education, once fully implemented 90 per cent of all apprentices in the province will be eligible to register online.
“We know we’re going to need people in the trades sooner rather than later,” said From. “So we need to have enough people in the system ready to the do the work when the time comes so employers aren’t scrambling.”