© Colin MacLean/Journal Pioneer
Donald Desroches, president of College Acadie I.P.E., announced that the college is teaming up with other French colleges in the Maritimes to offer a welding program.
WELLINGTON – Francophones on Prince Edward Island who would like to pursue a career in welding will soon have a chance to do so in their ancestral language.
College Acadie I.P.E. has signed an agreement with College Communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick (CCNB) and Universite Sainte-Anne (in Nova Scotia) to offer a welding course staring in September.
This is the first time College Acadie, based in Wellington, has ventured into the area of trades training, so it’s really an exciting prospect, said College President Donald Desroches.
“We live in a free, democratic country, and you get to go to the institution that you want to go to. Now you have another option if you want to take welding in French … we’ve opened another door for them, which can just be good for students,” said Desroches.
At a press conference on Monday, Desroches explained to various delegates that the welding program will be 40 weeks long and deadline for student applications is the end of April.
There is currently room for 14 students from Nova Scotia and P.E.I.
The classes will be conducted by an instructor at the Bathurst campus of CCNB – while practical classes will be conducted in partnership with industry certified shops.
This is only a pilot project but it has serious potential, wrote CCNB CEO Liane Roy in a press release.
“Our partnership with Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia reaffirms the need for Francophone and Acadian institutions to collaborate with each other in order to provide quality training programs in French. This pilot project will provide means to assess training program delivery mechanisms and to determine whether vocational training in the French language meets both student and industry needs.”
But according to Desroche, this project has already moved beyond the pilot stage in his mind.
He’s convinced students – young and more mature – will jump at the chance to either continue their careers in French or to revisit their first language in a new career. “Whether it’s this welding program or any of the other programs that College Acadie offers, it allows students that have already made a significant investment in retaining French, to continue on and develop that professional level competence in French as well,” said Desroche.