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102 Fairway Dr PO Box 370, Fernie, BC, V0B 1M0| 250.423.4471| Fax: 250.423.4004 Utility Links
School District 5
Home of the Falcons
Fernie Secondary School
Careers and Skills

Career and Skills Programs

Career programs offer the opportunity to get first-hand work experience in a career setting. This career exploration process can help students with the transition to the workplace by giving them the confidence they need to focus their efforts on getting the specific training and skills required for their career choice.


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


School Counsellor contact details:

Katie Keast

Phone: 250 423 4471 – Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday



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 will earn you 4 credits.    


Youth Working in Trades

The Youth Working in Trades (formerly Secondary School Appenticeship) 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 – at least until their high school graduation.

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 up to 480 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 the student completes, he/she will earn 4 credits towards graduation.  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 (SSA 11A, SSA 11B) and 2 x 4-credit courses at the grade 12 level (SSA 12A, SSA 12B).  Therefore, successful completion of the program earns students 16 credits towards graduation.

Bonus: Some students may qualify for the SSA 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 (formerly Accelerated Credit Enrolment in Industry Training (ACE IT)) program is the in-class 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

·      Metal Fabricator

·      Millwright (Ind. Mechanic)

·      Steamfitter/Pipefitter

·      Welding


Benefits to students: Students who successfully complete the ACE IT 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: Enrolment in the ACE IT program is free; however, students may 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 21 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.