More skills training at Barrie high schools

New job skills education is coming to three Barrie high schools in the fall as the province expands the Specialist High Skills Majors program.
Skills development in non-profit, construction, business and sports sectors will be in place at St. Joan of Arc, St. Joseph’s, and St. Peter’s high schools – non-profit at St. Joan’s, construction at St. Joseph’s, business and sports at St. Peter’s.
The aim of the program is to prepare students for jobs they may want to pursue once they graduate, and to improve graduation rates.
The additions bring the number of skills training at Barrie high schools to 23. Development is provided in areas including arts and culture, environment, health and wellness, transportation and communications. Students can earn credits through the programs while preparing for post-secondary life.
“This program offers grade 11 and 12 students the opportunity to gain important skills on the job and to earn valuable industry certifications including first aid and CPR qualifications. I am a strong supporter of hands-on learning that goes beyond the classroom,” MPP (Lib) Aileen Carroll said.
For the 2011-12 school year, more than 1,300 skills-training programs will be on offer at 600 Ontario high schools, an increase of 1,000 and 540 schools. Judging by numbers, it’s a popular program with more than 34,000 students enrolled. The program, according to government sources, has improved the graduation rate to 81 percent from 68 percent in 2003.
“The … program is a favourite of the students I meet in our high schools. Getting experience in a range of fields helps young people discover their talents and possible career options while earning credits to graduate,” said Leona Dombrowsky, minister of education.

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