Uniform syllabus <-> local variations

Local industry specific skill needs are met by local variations encompassed within the syllabus requirement...

The interesting finding from visiting several colleges in BC is that, in spite of the necessary "uniform syllabus" there are indeed very strong local variations in what is taught!

The colleges get "coverage" for this at Provincial level. Consultative bodies with Statutory footing have local Industry representatives who assert their local training need.

Taking the example of Aluminium MIG welding:

In the course of learning to weld you are going to get to know the equipment and how to manage it - which is an employment skill helping the trainee to "land on their feet". If you move into a region using the opposite solution - you know how to Al-MIG weld well and "in context" you are going to quickly adapt to the other solution for Al-MIG welding.

Another local variation is how much emphasis is put on the "rigging" part of the course.

The exception was Camosun College in Victoria, where most students are "welders" in big shipyards and have little need of rigging skills - whereas the need for skill at gouging techniques (air-arc gouging, oxy-flame gouging) for thick plate joint preparation leads to emphasis on this part of the syllabus.

The other colleges visited - Chilliwack, Port Alberni and Nanaimo - strongly teach rigging skills, as they provide to smaller local companies and to operations "out in the wilds" - both types needing the full range of "adjunct" skills - blueprint reading, fabrication and rigging - to be possessed by their welders.

Next, a particular interest of mine - the rigging part of the BC welder training course