One of our commitments as a company is to support high school students with an interest in the trades, and provide access to education they might not otherwise get before graduation.
This week we’ve made it official: Naikoon is now the proud sponsor of an annual bursary for a student on the North Shore who wants to study a trade at the post-secondary level.
We now have bursaries in 3 high schools (two in Haida Gwaii, on in West Van). We’d love to have one in every high school on the North Shore by 2020, and then expand to all the high schools in the Greater Vancouver region after that. We’re a smaller company, so we have to pace ourselves – but we’re keen to do what we can to inspire the next generation in the trades.
We’ve talked here and there about why we’re so committed to skills education in high schools; part of the reason is because a number of our team members would have fared better in secondary school if we’d been able to study trades and labour skills.
The other reason is the striking shortage of skilled labour in our province.
An official report on the BC economy released at the end of 2015 concluded that upwards of $4.7 billion is being missed out on – annually! – because there’s such a shortage of skill and education amongst BC residents. Second on the list of inadequately staffed industries is construction – and we feel that rub every time we expand.
Naikoon has had a great run and a lot of success, and we have every intention of giving back to the industry that’s made us what we are. For now, for us, that means supporting education as much as we can.