Richard Dickenson has been teaching carpenters for decades about how to apprentice successfully in Canada, and most of his students make the ascent to Journeyman Red Seal carpenter. Dickenson has delivered Integrated Carpentry Tutorials across the country. His training regime has resulted in countless proficient builders gaining their Red Seal Certification as Journeymen Carpenters.
Here’s a series of highlights from Dickensen when he traveled this summer to Kitimat, B.C. where he spent June, 2021 delivering a carpentry primer course to a group of young men and women interested in the trades. (The following discourse on the delivery of this educational opportunity is Dickenson's.):
My son Jaak and I did the 2nd Phase of the Industry Training Authority (ITA) Trade Sampler Course, for Kitimat City High School. The program was sponsored by the BCRCC Carpenters Union and the BC Piping College.
A 10-week course, it gives kids a look at the trades -- carpentry, electrical, plumbing, iron working, concrete, and roofing -- with an eye to giving them an intro to the Trades as a possible (and productive) career choice.
I did the first 2 weeks in April, solo.
I took Jaak with me to finish and slipped him into the course, for a variety of reasons:
1. He’s in the same age cohort, and has over 1K hours under his belt as a 1st Year Apprentice (plus class time theory);
2. He would meet and interact with both First Nations (Haisla) & Women In Trades students in the class.
3. Hopefully he could help mentor these kids while broadening his own horizons, and absorbing cultural input.
4. He could fly fish the Skeena & Kitimat Rivers, in the Stikine Valley~top 10 salmon spots in the world.
5. I was pretty sure I would need his help on the structural part.
6. Get the heck out of Dodge, and have a bit of a Road Trip, after the 15 month lockdowns.
7. Plus…all the hours in the Course count towards his Apprenticeship hours.
8. He turned 17 yrs old on the last day of the course and now Mike Motiuk can sign him up~!
9. It was a no brainer.
At age 16, Jaak made me proud. As our kids grow up, we reach a point where the possibility (or likelihood) of travelling together becomes less certain. They drift off and find their own wings. And their own flock. As they should, in their turn and in their time. I am grateful for this opportunity and this experience. On so many levels.
Furthermore I believe I had an honest breakthrough, on a personal level, with each & every student in the course. "We had fun and we got ‘er dun!"
Many thanks to Kevin Jeffery of UAP/ICBC for his tireless support, boundless enthusiasm, and sincere dedication to the idea promoting the Trades career opportunities to our youth, within in the educational system.
Many thanks to Nancy Tormene, Principal, Kitimat City High School for her exceptional dedication to helping these kids prepare for real life. She was an inspiration to me, on both a personal and professional level. Thank You, Nancy!
And many thanks to BCRCC Training Coordinator Merissa Cox, for presenting the opportunity. It’s not every day that you get a chance to make a difference.
It was a splendid Road Trip.
There were some unexpected difficulties . . .
First we did the math on a scrap of plywood. Just like in Real Life:
Checking into my Cabin...“Hi Honey~I’m Ho-ome…" BC Ferries is a cabins are first rate. Sailing time from Prince Rupert to Port Hardy (Vancouver Island) is anywhere from 16-20 hours. No Internet. You might as well be comfortable.
End of Course:
First we built three picnic tables:
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Teamwork is Dreamwork:
Jaak takes the high road:
Jaak checks the level
Seventeen-year-old Jaak Dickenson is on a fast-track to Red Seal Carpenter
Layout: The layout and assembly to the template on the slab:
Completion: We had to go back for three hours on Saturday morning to finish up everything. Thus, the absence of actual Students in this pic!
Truss Assembly: I had them pre-stain the 2” X 6” material:
Figuring out the rafters from incomplete drawings: I went with a 7/12 slope, since it is virtually 30 degrees.
“OK~ Now, Let’s go fishing": Student Adam Beam (Haisla Nation), Me and Jaak. This was the Saturday, so I took them to lunch and then dropped them at the river.
Clamps are invaluable. These are always in my kit:
Completion: For smoking fish and game:
Jaak learns to use the impact driver with his left hand -- an essential skill.
. . . and do the touch-ups:
The Roofing Crew came in on Monday to get the Tin on:
Jaak, an avid fly fisherman, casts a line upon the Skeena River.
Kitimat Youth Obtain Industry Training Authority (ITA) Trade Sampler Course From Integrated Carpentry Tutorials (ICT)
The Gazebo: 10’-0 X 10’-0”, w/ 7/12 slope gain factor: I had them lay out the rafter dimensions on the concrete slab in the shop, snapped some chalk lines, and then they built a series of trusses to the template.