A Sylvan Lake high school student is among the first group of students enrolled in pre-employment training for Millwrights at Red Deer Polytechnic (RDP).  

Ecole H.J. Cody School Zaland Murad Ali said he has always wanted to work in a hands-on field.  

“The reason I chose millwright specifically is because I get to learn about dealing with precision machinery and fabrication,” he said. “I like that I will get my hands dirty.”  

Participating in previous dual-credit opportunities helped Murad Ali narrow down his interests, as he knew he liked pipe trades courses, but realized he enjoyed metal fabrication the most.   

“Things don’t seem hard when you enjoy doing it. I really came into the course thinking that this was going to be challenging, but the more I get into this course, the more I enjoy it, and the harder I work, which is probably why I find it not as hard. It’s just something you have to do. You need to work for what you want,” he said. “I really am thankful for the courses the school provided me with because they played a major role in narrowing my future.”   

Through the program, if students maintain a 65 per cent average in any pre-employment certification, they can write the provincial Apprenticeship Industry Training exam.   

If students achieve a 70 per cent on the exam, they can be credited for theory learning in year one apprenticeship.  

“Pre-employment certifications allow students to enter the workforce with basic, industry-required skills, ready for further apprenticeship training and growth,” said Brianne Fletcher, Chinook’s Edge Career Connections Coordinator. “When students are successful in this programming, it reduces the time required for apprenticeship training.”