Minister of Education, Rob Fleming & ASTTBC discuss Tech Ed in K-12

The Honourable Rob Fleming hosted a group from ASTTBC and the Technology Education & Careers Council (TECC) to talk about the importance of technology education and careers. The primary focus was how to better engage youth in Science, Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) subjects and provide a solid insight to potential careers in STEM fields in the high school systems. “We enjoyed a lively exchange during which a few great ideas were offered up and considered for future action,” said ASTTBC Vice President, Sarah Campden, CTech, RTMgr. One idea that emerged was creating a website where companies would signal their interest in supporting work experience placements. ASTTBC offered to consider developing such a site.

ASTTBC also proposed that the current K-12 program designed to help youth sample a few trades careers include ‘technology’. This new technology initiative would allow for dual credit for the British Columbia Certificate of Graduation from High School (Dogwood Diploma), as well as credit in a post-secondary technology program.

Joining the ASTTBC reps was Elaine Allan, Executive Director of Skills Canada BC who serves as a member of the TECC, an ASTTBC group of senior business, education and industry associations who work in support of technology education and careers. On behalf of TECC, Elaine Allan talked about how Skills Canada – BC contributes to STEM awareness.

TECC has been informing Government of the real need for many more technologists and technicians, stressed during the conversation. “The skills shortage is real and requires immediate consideration and action,” added ASTTBC CEO John Leech. “BC’s technology professionals are critical to the growth and development and sustainability of BC’s economy and environment.”

It was a great conversation with much ground covered, as the Minister was also interested in ASTTBC’s work in support of women in technology, access to Tech Ed for First Nations and ASTTBC initiatives to support and assist people with disabilities.

Pictured are (L to R): ASTTBC CEO John Leech; MJ Whitemarsh, Manager, Strategic Partnerships; Minister Fleming; Vice President Sarah Campden; and, Skills Canada -BC Executive Director Elaine Allan.