You may be wondering what to expect when it comes to learning a trade at UFV during COVID-19. The Trades & Technology Centre (TTC) at UFV is a unique learning environment. This means a number of special safety measures are now in place to maximize your learning while keeping you and your classmates safe. Because of these precautions, we have been able to keep our programs open to the same amount of students.
Safety precautions at UFV’s Trades & Technology Centre
A blend of remote & in-person learning
Hands-on training is key to mastering a new trade. Your instructors have identified the parts of each course where in-person practice is essential to your learning and created a class schedule that gets you into the TTC whenever necessary. Some programs will feature more online learning than others.
Staggered learning groups
To allow for maximum physical distancing, instructors divide classes into learning groups. Here’s an example of how that might look: if you’re in Group A, you might be in the shop doing practical training on Mondays and Tuesdays, while Group B is working through online coursework. Wednesday you might all be learning in an online class with your instructor. Then Thursday and Friday, you would learn remotely while Group B had their turn in the shop. A great feature of this system is that instructors are able to give students plenty of attention in the shop because groups are small.
Close-up demos at a distance
Before COVID-19, students would often crowd around instructors while they demonstrated a technique or use of a tool. Many shops now have cameras installed that make it possible for the instructor to show what they’re doing on a big screen. It makes for better learning too, because everyone can now easily see what the instructor is doing.
Protected, reserved workspaces
As often as possible, trades students are assigned to their own workspace — so your space won't be used by other students. Plexiglass barriers are installed between work areas in any shops where space is a little tighter. Many shops don’t need these barriers because they are already so spacious.
Designated tools & visors
This summer, UFV purchased more tools! Many shops had a check-in/check-out system before COVID-19. Now, you'll receive a set of tools and work with that set for the whole week. In some shops, students have their own, labelled safety visors so they don’t need to share.
Parking areas & building entrances
Many of the shops and industrial kitchens at the TTC have outside entrances. Students are asked to park their vehicles in the area closest to their shop entrance so they can enter from outside. This minimizes traffic through the hallways of the Trades centre.
Meals & snacks outside
This aspect of COVID-19 learning is not all that enjoyable, but important for everyone’s safety. The TTC cafe is closed, and we encourage you to bring your own food and take meal breaks outside or in your vehicle.
COVID-19 Safety basics
You can also expect the following precautions to be in place across UFV campuses.
- Use of masks whenever physical distancing isn’t possible.
- Daily health checks. If you need to stay home because you're sick, your instructors will arrange for you to make up learning time.
- Hand-washing stations at the entrance of each shop.
- Increased sanitizing of all high-touch surfaces and equipment.