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DRHS one of seven schools in province to receive skilled trades centre

Clare-Digby MLA Gordon Wilson stands with Donna Tidd and Faye Haley of the TCRSB and DRHS principal Ben McNeil.
Clare-Digby MLA Gordon Wilson stands with Donna Tidd and Faye Haley of the TCRSB and DRHS principal Ben McNeil.

DIGBY, NS - Digby Regional High School is one of seven schools chosen to become new locations for Skilled Trade Centres for high school students.

Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Karen Casey made the announcement Apr. 3 at Cobequid Education Centre in Truro.

Other schools that will become trade centres include:

            ·      Cobequid Education Centre, Truro

            ·      Riverview Rural High School, Coxheath

            ·      Sir John A. MacDonald High School, Upper Tantallon

            ·      Richmond Academy, Louisdale

            ·      Amherst High School, Amherst

            ·      Central Kings Rural High School, Cambridge

There are already 16 centres across Nova Scotia, which the government aims to increase to 25 by 2019-20.

Casey said these centres are important training for students looking to enter the trades.

“These skills provide students with a stronger link to work world, and can lead to apprenticeships and red seal opportunities. We need to make sure we expand on these opportunities for students,” said Casey.

Two schools will have centres constructed within them over the 2017-2018 year. Digby Regional High School principal Ben McNeil says this will not be the year for them.

After meeting with Clare-Digby MLA Gordon Wilson along TCRSB elected members Faye Haley and Donna Tidd, McNeil said “In order to make this program work, significant retrofitting would be required to the DRHS building.”

“We’re quite certain we won’t be implementing this in September next year. It might be in 2018, or even in 2019,” said McNeil, “but it is going to happen.”

Wilson also supports this new project, and said “this is big news for our community – to have this kind of service for our youth.”

McNeil said the trades offered at these centres will include carpentry, electrical, plumbing and automotive, and that once DRHS is able to get the ball rolling, their focus would be the construction trades.

“This will definitely give them a leg up when going to college program of their choice,” said McNeil.

“The conversation first began four to five years ago, and is finally taking off.”

Funding for these centres was first announced in January as part of the province’s Capital Plan, with $5 million specifically allocated for the centres.

“There’s an interest, and kids have aptitude: we’re looking forward to this, for sure,” said Casey.

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