In March of 2016, the Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation (SSN) hosted a two-week Introduction to Scaffold Training Program in Kamloops for the SSN community, in partnership with the BCRCC and Industrial Scaffold Safety Services L.P. (ISSL). The training was a part of SSN’s Pathways to Success Program (P2S) and was designed to equip participants with basic skills, knowledge, and safety awareness in preparation for upcoming employment and career opportunities with ISSL in the region.
Local 1370 member Versal Camille was a participant in P2S, and in June 2018 he concluded the 3rd and final level of the BCRCC Scaffold Apprenticeship Training Program. “Before P2S, I was working as a ranch hand and as a labourer in residential and industrial construction. I was wanting to get into an apprenticeship and become a tradesperson. When Jordann Hazelwood [SSN Career Coach] called me about the opportunity to be in the training program, I jumped at the chance.”
“It has been incredible to be a part of Versal’s journey and watch him see an opportunity and take full advantage of it,” said Hazelwood. “He has worked incredibly hard both in the field and during his training at the trades school and has represented our community in a positive way. It is my hope that we can continue to support our members in realizing their full potential and capitalizing on every opportunity presented to them.”
Camille is working steadily for ISSL, mostly in the Kamloops region, but does travel to various other projects around the province. Once he acquires a few more work hours, Camille will have completed the BCRCC Scaffold Apprenticeship Training Program and will be a journeyperson scaffolder, something he is very much looking forward to.
Neil Dougherty, director of operations, ISSL, Kamloops, traces Camille’s employment with ISSL, “Versal started working for ISSL as a material handler on the Domtar shutdown right after he finished the P2S program in 2016. He was a great worker, showing lots of potential, and was eager to learn. ISSL was looking for good apprentices in the region, and Versal was an ideal and obvious choice. Today, he is an important member of our Kamloops team.”
“The training has made me more competent, and I feel confident when I go back into the field,” said Camille. “I want to keep on scaffolding and become a journeyperson. It’s a personal accomplishment that I will feel great about, that I can say ‘I’m a journeyperson.’ Scaffolding is a great career, and ISSL is a good company to work for, and they’re keeping me busy. The guys on the crew have been giving me answers to my questions and providing mentorship. Being in the Union has been like being a part of a family. I know that I have a pension and that I can enjoy my future.
“I’m very grateful to have been a part of P2S. It changed my life in a way I couldn’t have imagined. It changed my life path for the better.”