WHITEHORSE— Electrician apprentices no longer have to leave the territory to complete training.
For the first time since the program launched more than 20 years ago, the College is now offering level-four electrical – the final level required to gain Red Seal certification.
Jeff Wolosewich, Department Head at the Centre for Northern Innovation in Mining School of Trades, Technology and Mining, said that until now students had to travel Outside to complete the 12-week training.
“Normally they go to Alberta to finish,” said Wolosewich. “Twelve weeks away in a new place can be hard if you have kids and a family.”
For JayJ Flynn, it would have been more than hard – it would have been impossible.
Flynn’s partner is eight months pregnant with the couple’s first child. At the same time, he is completing his level four. Relocating to attend the Northern or Southern Alberta Institute of Technology was out of the question for him.
“I probably wouldn’t have gone to school,” said Flynn, 34, who lives in Dawson City, and started the first level of the electrical program in 2013.
He said he had heard rumours, ever since then, that level four would eventually be offered. He’s thrilled the rumours turned out to be true.
He’s also thrilled to be able to stick with the people and program where he started. There are currently 10 students in the level four class taught by instructor Aaron France.
Flynn is familiar with the facilities, staff, and students at the College. As well, he knows he is getting the same education he would have had in Alberta, because Yukon College worked with the NAIT and SAIT to develop the curriculum here.
“It’s no coincidence this happened the same year as the Centre for Northern Innovation in Mining,” said Wolosewich.
“Space restrictions kept us from expanding before whereas the new building opens up more classroom and shop space.”
Most importantly though, the new course offering has given students like Flynn the opportunity to be close to his partner when their baby is born, and to maintain his electrical job at Crain Ventures in Dawson.
“This has been great,” Flynn said. “It has really suited my lifestyle.”