Arrowview Elementary School student Logan Taylor (who aspires to be a pilot) tries his hand at a flight simulator at the Find Your Fit career fair at Qualicum Beach Elementary School on Tuesday, Jan. 30. — Adam Kveton Photo

Students put in pilot seat at Qualicum school job fair

Travelling fair gives students, public chance to test skills, interest in range of careers

Grade 6 and 7 students from across the school district got the chance to explore a variety of jobs Tuesday, Jan. 30, during a travelling career fair that offers a range of interactive activities.

The Find Your Fit tour arrived at Qualicum Beach Elementary School, where 700 students were expected to visit before the tour was opened to the public after school.

Run through the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, and offered by a company called Inventaworld, the tour was meant to give students ideas about available careers, learn a bit about them and let them try an activity that might be used in that job, said School District 69 (Qualicum) head of Career Education, Don Bold.

“This program is all about career awareness, particularly for this age. This is when it typically starts,” he said.

“If we can show them a variety of different avenues that maybe they haven’t thought of, and it’s things that are opening up in the province in terms of the labour market, that will put them in a much better position to start to look at options within their schooling.”

The idea isn’t that students are supposed to choose a career, he said.

“It’s all about… what’s opening in terms of requirements in the province and seeing what they might be interested in.”

Jobs represented at the event included various health sector jobs such as physiotherapy, nursing and psychiatry, where models of the human heart and organs were shown and students could learn to take blood pressure or learn to listen to a patient.

Others included a mechanic station where students were shown how to take tire pressure and could check out automotive parts in virtual reality; a more general construction station where students could try out drills and hammers; a station to set up an electrical circuit; a 3D printer station; a touch-screen coding activity where computers over the last 35 years were shown; and a pair of commercial flight simulators.

“All these things are really based around what is up-and-coming, what will be in demand and where is the future heading for jobs for availability,” said Ryley Ellement, tour manager with Inventaworld.

Even if students don’t find something they are interested in at the fair, Ellement said he and other tour staff are available to help give kids ideas about what jobs might incorporate their skills and interests, and how to prepare for those jobs.

Part of the tour is giving students (not just in Grades 6 and 7 but up to Grade 12) an understanding of the WorkBC website and how to use the information there to figure out what jobs are available where and other valuable information.

Though the tour has been travelling the province for several years, some of the activities were being tried out for the first time at Qualicum Beach Elementary, including the flight simulator where Grade 7 Arrowview Elementary School student Logan Taylor felt right at home.

Asked what he thought about getting to try the simulator, Taylor said it was great, but nothing he doesn’t know. He’s flown before as a cadet, he said.

“I’ve mostly thought about being a pilot,” he said in terms of a future career, but said that he thought the fair was a great opportunity.

Fellow Grade 7 Arrowview student Enzo Agostini also already has a career in mind.

“I want to be an architect when I’m older because my family comes from quite a long line of architects in Italy,” he said.

Nonetheless, he said the fair helped him realize a career as a mechanic or engineer are options as well, especially since he already helps his dad work on their truck.

“I think it’s pretty cool that they put this (career fair) up because it’s good to inspire kids my age and younger generations to do cool things like be pilots and engineers,” he said.

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