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Adapting trades training to pandemic social distancing requirements

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One challenge facing educators in the pandemic world is adapting hands-on training to physical distancing.

Aaron Klooster is the dean of trades and technology at Northern College.  He says when it comes to tool-oriented training for millwrights, welders and electricians for instance,some things can’t be put into an online environment.

“Nor would we really want to,” he comments, “because we pride ourselves at the college with prepping our graduates for stepping into the workforce, prepared and ready to go and we teach with the tools that they use in the workplace.”

A couple of summer pilot programs following provincial guidelines proved successful.

“We were given the permission to have students in that face-to-face environment,” Klooster explains, “as long as we met social distancing protocols and where that couldn’t be met, then we had to don masks.  And of course, that order came out even before the health units put out their mask mandates.”

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