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Edmonton Catholic Schools

Plumber Apprenticeship Program


ECSD Launches Plumber Apprenticeship Program at Archbishop O'Leary High School

This morning, Edmonton Catholic Schools officially unveiled its Career and Technology Studies (CTS) Plumber Apprenticeship Program in the newly constructed plumbing facility at Archbishop O'Leary Catholic High School.

The Plumber Apprenticeship Program offers skilled trades training opportunities in the only plumbing-focused classroom in a High School in western Canada. A focus of the program is to provide opportunities for Indigenous students, English Language Learners and female students. The program prepares students to become successful in the industry and helps meet safety standards and the future demand for skilled workers. 

A number of key partners worked together with Edmonton Catholic Schools to make the new program a success. ECSD received support from a number of organizations including the following:

  • Western Economic Diversification Canada 
  • Government of Alberta (Alberta Education)
  • Alberta Pipe Trades College
  • United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Union Local 488
  • Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating (CIPH) and its member companies (Canplas Industries Ltd., EMCO Corporation, Fairview Fittings & Mfg. Limited, Great Lakes Copper Ltd. Hilmor/Lennox, Ipex Inc., Oatey Canada Inc., Canada Metal Pacific Ltd.
  • Edmonton Catholic Schools Foundation

"Young Canadians are the driving force of our country's future economic growth. The Plumber Apprenticeship Program's renovated training area, outfitted with commercial equipment, will help students from diverse backgrounds develop the skills needed to pursue a career in the trades industry," said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada.

"This program is an excellent example of the flexibility of Alberta's CTS programming, which gives schools the chance to meet the needs and expectations of students, whatever their interests and goals may be," said Minister of Education, David Eggen.

The first group of 19 Grade 10 and 11 students enrolled in the program, began classes in February.  As of September, the program will accommodate 40 students per semester (80 students per year) across three grades.

 "Creating a Plumber Apprenticeship Program at Archbishop O'Leary provides opportunities to more successfully engage students and to encourage them to complete their high school diploma," said Joan Carr, Superintendent.

The unique facility is designed specifically for the Plumber Apprenticeship Program and provides the necessary equipment to allow ECSD students to earn high school credits while learning about plumbing and to earn their first year apprenticeship training in the Plumber trade.  A total of 216 of the 240 hours of instruction, (90% of the course), will occur at Archbishop O'Leary Catholic High School.

"Because of the support of our partners in the plumbing industry as well as government, our high school students can envision a successful future," added Laura Thibert, Board Chair, Edmonton Catholic Schools.

The Edmonton Catholic School District's new plumber classroom and Plumber Apprenticeship Program creates an opportunity to encourage youth to understand the benefits of an education in the skilled trades and to establish a successful career in the plumber trades.