Langley resident Edward Hatashita-Lee is a top prize winner from the #YourTicket contest held during Apprenticeship Recognition Week (Nov 5 to 11). Submitted photo

Young millwright urges employers to give apprentices a chance

Apprenticeship Recognition Week recognizes impact apprentices have in B.C. communities

With Apprenticeship Recognition Week having taken place Nov 5 to 11, a first year millwright apprentice who lives in Langley has a message for potential employers.

Give apprentices a chance.

“For the foundation class for millwright at BCIT, it’s very full and there’s a very long waitlist. What I found is that only half the kids are actually getting accepted into apprenticeships,” says Edward Hatashita-Lee, 22, who works full-time at a local fruit processing company. “The industrial sector, at least, doesn’t seem to be too keen on taking on first years with no experience in an industrial environment.”

Hatashita-Lee said that by taking on apprentices, companies are investing in the future.

Industry Training Authority (ITA) apprenticeship advisor Andrew George agrees.

“You can tailor them, you can work with them, and they can learn your system,” George said.

What George refers to as “succession planning” allows young tradesmen to make their way up the ladder and bring stability to companies for years to come.

“Basically, the way we’ve handled apprenticeship in the past is we’ve pushed everybody towards academics and now we’re catching up in the trades,” he said. “So there’s a little bit of a crunch, but that being said, there’s lots of opportunity in the trades.”

Hatashita-Lee, was recently recognized by the Industry Training Authority (ITA) as a top prize winner from the #YourTicket contest held during Apprenticeship Recognition Week.

On Facebook, Hatashita-Lee submitted a photo of himself at work which was the winning entry.

“I got a picture of myself beside a big electric motor,” Hatashita-Lee said.

The critical thinking required on the job, along with the hands-on component, is what he enjoys most about his chosen career path — in other words, the use of his head and his hands.

“It’s the trade of all trades,” Hatashita-Lee said, regarding being a millwright. “You do a little bit of everything: fabrication, welding, mechanical diagnostics, (and) electrical diagnostics.”

His advice to anyone looking to get started in the skilled trades is to choose something you are passionate about, and never give up.

Since he was a kid, Hatashita-Lee has always wanted to do something “industrially.”

“I’ve always thought machine equipment was cool,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to do something industrial but I didn’t want to do something repetitive, so I figured millwright would be a good mix.”

Apprenticeship Recognition Week is provincially proclaimed and celebrated annually in November. This recognition marks a time to reflect on the impact apprentices have in B.C. communities, and to raise awareness about the importance of developing a highly trained workforce to support the province’s growing economy.

Hatashita-Lee said the millwright trade is one of the hardest ones in which to find an apprenticeship, “especially with no prior on-paper experience.”

Apprentices benefit from mentors, someone on the job with more experience who is willing to “help you out, pass on information and guide you,” said Hatashita-Lee.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Hazmat incident closes down Langley City street

One person is believed to be dead, police said

Langley chamber of commerce upset about lack of funding for SkyTrain

An uncertain future for the extension to Langley is due to the budget

Felt absence of Mark Warawa marks 107th Aldergrove Fair fast draw

Wife and Langley MLAs Mary Polak and Rich Coleman honoured Warawa with a 20-person gun salute

Michael J. Fox’s former bandmate takes Willoughby stage

Langley’s Bez Arts Hub owner Russ Rosen plays Summer Festival Series this Thursday

Langley’s Erin Lee wins Kelowna MJT titles

Third in a row for 14-year-old golfer

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

Unsealed record suggests U.S. man convicted of murdering Vancouver Island couple left DNA on zip tie in 1987

William Talbott is set to be sentenced Wednesday in the murders of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

Pride flags stolen from Lower Mainland church

Went missing sometime Friday night, says Maple Ridge reverend

25 new wheelchair-accessible cabins open at Cultus Lake Provincial Park

Maple Bay Campground is now home to 25 new wheelchair friendly cabins, a first for BC Parks

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Most Read