Youth and Women in Trades Education Employment Programs

Youth and Women in Trades

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Below is an email we received from one of our readers who saw a post we uploaded to our Instagram account about messaging us to chat about anything that may be of interest to the community. If you are a youth or female you will find this story encouraging.

Hello Lonsdale Ave!

I saw your story on Instagram about sharing to the community of North Vancouver and thought you might be interested in helping me advocate for youth and women getting involved in Red Seal Certified Trades.

My name is Erik Bornestig. I am the founder and CEO of Born West Electric. I’m 29 years old, a lifelong resident of the North Shore and I am a big advocate of getting youth and women involved in Red Seal Certified Trades.

I regularly speak at high schools about the advantages of starting an apprenticeship at a young age. I stress to students that becoming certified at a young age is just the start of your career and there is a natural progression to on site supervisor roles, office project management roles and many other avenues with higher incomes.

The low cost of schooling and efficient apprenticeship structure creates an environment where student debt is not required. I also speak to financial responsibility at a young age and how when all of these things are put together it can really get you ahead in life. My goal with speaking to students is to remove the stigma around trades and promote it as a solid post secondary option. The aim is to assist students that may be considering trades to find their passion and start their career at a very young age while avoiding large student debt loads. I am very passionate about this topic because I have experienced it myself and know the possibilities it can create for youth.

To further help students get involved I employ a grade 12 student through the ITA’s youth work in trades program. This student alternates days between work and high school. Over a 2 week period he attends school for 5 full days and then works with us receiving paid on the job training the other 5 days. 

ITA’s Youth Work in Trades Program

Students in this program get ahead on the work-based training of a trade apprenticeship while still in high school. Not only do they take home a pay cheque, they earn up to 16 credits towards their high school diploma, log 480 training hours toward your trade credential and maybe even earn a $1,000 award. Youth Train in Trades and Youth Work in Trades programs can be taken in any order and there are no prerequisites. 

Notable Engagements

Erik Bornestig live in studio interview with Lynda Steele

Erik Bornestig/ Born West used as an example in BC Legislature Speech

Speaking Engagements

  • Rockridge Secondary grade 12 student interested in Youth Work in trades program, hired student (Sept 2019)
  • Carson Graham Secondary grade 12 student interested in Youth Work in trades program (Oct)
  • Lynda Steele live in studio interview (Nov)
  • Carson Graham Shop Class (Dec)
  • North Vancouver School District Trades and Technology info Night (January 2020)
  • Rockridge Secondary Career Expo (February)
  • Carson Graham Career Fair (March)
  • Windsor Secondary Shop Class (April)

My Story

  • Graduated from Windsor Secondary 2008
  • Started Electrical Apprenticeship Sept 2008
  • Red Seal Certified at age 23
  • Promotion to Foreman, Supervisor Role at age 24
  • Started Company while working full time at age 24
  • Bought Townhouse in North Van with zero help at age 25
  • Left full time employer to run my own business at age 27
  • 2nd Vice President of the Lynn Valley Lions Club at age 27
  • Currently running profitable company with 4 employees at age 29

I am contacting you in hopes you will help advance the discussion on youth and women involvement in trades. I am happy to discuss the benefits of trades, how to start an apprenticeship and answer any other questions you may have.

Let’s help the next generation together.

Born West Electric

Erik Bornestig – Founder and Operator


p: 604.831.3745

Contact him above if you have any questions about this email.

Erik Bornestig Born West Electrical North Vancouver
Erik Bornestig Born West Electric North Vancouver
Born West Electric North Vancouver

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