School District 79 is seeing a growing number of students participate in the Youth Work in Trades program.

Prior to 2016, the school district saw three or four youth apprentices annually but last year that number had climbed to 31 active youth apprentices.

This year there’s over 50 in the system.

The Youth Work in Trades program is a dual credit program that allows youth to begin paid work- based training for an apprenticeship while still in secondary school.

Around 80 per cent of training takes place on the work site and 20 per cent is in the classroom.

The Industry Training Authority recently recognized the Cowichan Valley School District with the Youth Work in Trades Performance Award for having the highest program registration in the region.

The award includes 5,000 dollars in additional funding to help the district with the development of the program.