Top Australian Apprentice Hosted in Innovative BC Apprenticeship Exchange Program

Langley, BC (June 9, 2015) - A talented Indigenous Australian carpentry apprentice who earned a month-long learning experience in Canada will have an opportunity to work at Fort Langley’s new Coulter Berry Building. This exciting exchange program will provide Ben Morriss who hails from Strathpine, Queensland with an opportunity to work on a local LEED Gold construction project which will feature geothermal, solar panels, responsible construction, reduced water use, and high-end mechanical systems.

The Apprentice Exchange Program is a fully funded scholarship to allow one exceptionally gifted East Coast Apprentice Carpenter to experience life and work in Canada for a 28 day period. The program was established between BC’s SkillSource and its Australian sister organization, the East Coast Apprenticeship, to acknowledge dedicated and accomplished apprentices and to build bridges between the two countries. In the future, East Coast Apprenticeship will host a BC apprentice.

SkillSource will host Ben and has arranged for Xaris Construction to provide the practical learning experience on the construction of the world class Coulter Berry LEED Gold three story mixed-use building. In addition, BCIT will host Ben for one week in their Carpentry 4th year technical training program. Ben has had the opportunity to meet politicians MP Mark Warawa, MLA Shirley Bond, and Langley Mayor Jack Froese. He will also be travelling to Victoria and meeting aboriginal apprentices at Seaspan after which he’ll get to see a bit of Beautiful British Columbia before he heads home. Upon his return to Australia, the Canadian Embassy has arranged for an opportunity for Ben to visit Canberra to meet with the Canadian Ambassador. Ben is indigenous Australian and is passionate about being a leader and inspiring other aboriginal people.

Quick Facts
- There were 37,734 registered apprentices in BC in 2013/14
- There were 316,400 registered apprentices in Australia in 2013/14
- Of all of the new construction in Langley, only five are registered LEED projects

"This Scholarship is a statement on the importance of apprenticeships and the critical role apprentices will play in the future prosperity of Queensland and British Columbia." Alan Sparks, East Coast Apprenticeships CEO

"This is an exciting and innovative program through which we can provide global opportunities to highly-accomplished apprentices and we look forward to sending a BC apprentice to Queensland in the near future." Doug MacLaren, SkillSource CEO

"Gaining experience on a LEED Gold project is every apprentice's dream. Having Ben join us from Australia on the Coulter Berry building is extra special and we look forward applying his skills, and he’ll gain valuable experience to bring home." Kevin Speilman, Partner, Xaris Construction

For More Information
Doug MacLaren
604.455.0075 x224