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School District 5
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Fernie Secondary School
Careers and Skills

Career and Skills Programs.pdf

Career and Skills Programs

Career programs offer the opportunity to get first-hand work experience in a career setting. This experience can help students to set career goals, identify training needs, and develop the necessary skills for their chosen career.

School counsellors can help students learn more about the options available at Fernie Secondary School.  School counsellors can also help students to determine which career program fits best with their future plans.

School Counsellor contact details:

Karen Walker

Phone: 250 423 4471


Work Experience

This training opportunity offers students experience in the career field of their choice.

Benefit to student: Students gain credit toward graduation and feel more prepared for employment or further post-secondary training.

Employer's responsibilities: The employer is responsible for working with the student to devise a learning plan.  In addition, the employer collaborates with the student and the work experience teacher to evaluate the student's progress. 

Hours: Students must complete 100 hours of work experience with their chosen employer.  These hours can either be timetabled into the student's regular schedule, or completed outside of the timetable e.g. after school. 

Rate of pay: In most circumstances, the work experience placement is unpaid. 

Credits: Students can complete a maximum of two 4-credit work experience courses (Work Experience 12A and 12B).  100 hours of work experience and completion of accompanying assignments will earn you 4 credits.    

Youth Work in Trades

 The Youth Work in Trades program provides skill development through practical, hands-on work experience.  Students enrolled in these courses go to work and attend high school at the same time. That means they have found an employer who is willing to take them on and pay them as an apprentice for an agreed upon amount of time. 

Students who are 15 years or older can enroll in this program – they must also formally register with the Industry Training Authority as Youth Apprentices.

Benefits to student: Earn while you learn!  Earn credits towards graduation, as well as work-based training hours that count towards your trade credential.  Students are also able to meet employers within their chosen field, potentially increasing their employability. 

Employer's responsibilities: Employers must provide the secondary school apprentice with work-based training opportunities to learn the skills of the trade. All apprentices must work under the supervision of a tradesperson with sign-off authority.  Employers must monitor, track and report the apprentice's work-based training hours to the ITA.

Hours: For every 120 hours of work that students complete, they will earn 4 credits towards graduation (up to a maximum of 480 hours).  The hours can either be timetabled into the student's regular schedule, or completed outside of the timetable e.g. through the summer break. 

Rate of Pay: Employers must pay students at least minimum wage. 

Credits: Students can complete 2 x 4-credit courses at the grade 11 level (MWRK-1A, MWRK-1B) and 2 x 4-credit courses at the grade 12 level (MWRK-2A, MWRK-2B).  Therefore, successful completion of the program earns students 16 credits towards graduation.

Bonus: Some students may qualify for the Youth Work in Trades Scholarship – a $1000 award given to students for sustained and exceptional work as an apprentice.  See the School Counsellor for more information!

Youth Train in Trades

The Youth Train in Trades program (formally ACE IT)is the technical training component of a high school apprenticeship.  Youth Train in Trades students are Youth Apprentices registered with the Industry Training Authority (ITA).


Fernie Secondary partners with the College of the Rockies to offer our students a wide range of programs, including:

  • Auto Service Technician      
  • Carpentry                              
  • Culinary Arts (Cook)            
  • Electrician
  • Hairstylist                              
  • Heavy Duty Mechanic                      
  • Industrial Mechanic                         
  • Welding                                 


Benefits to students: Students who successfully complete the Youth Train in Trades program earn credit toward high school graduation, as well as well as at least one level of technical training for their industry-training program.

Cost: It depends on the length of the program.  Much of the cost of tuition is subsidized by the school district and there are often scholarships available to help students cover any outstanding tuition fees.  Students might be required to cover the cost for textbooks, tools, or other items specific to working in their chosen field.

Location: The majority of programs take place at the College of the Rockies campus in Cranbrook. 

Length of program: Programs range in length from 24 weeks to 44 weeks.  See the School Counsellor for more information on the program you are interested in.

Credits: May vary depending on the program.  In the majority of cases, students earn 24 credits at the grade 12 level.