Bailey Carswell started training for a career in the trades when he was only 15 years old.
Without knowing exactly what he wanted to do for work, Bailey joined CNC’s Career Technical Centre (CTC) program. The CTC program lets high school students take college trade courses, but still graduate from high school as they earn dual credits.
“Being with a bunch of older guys was definitely intimidating at first,” he said. “But you are exposed to the real world. They treat you like an adult.”
Through the CTC program, Bailey completed the Electrical Foundation program in 2013 when most of his friends were just graduating from high school.
“I worked in residential electrical for a bit, but it wasn’t really for me,” he said. “Then winter came, everything slowed down, and I got laid off.”
Bailey then got a job as a labourer for a commercial construction company. When he started, he ended up doing renovations at CNC such as building walls at drywalling. A few months later, the company was contracted to build houses.
“We did everything from start to finish, learning how to build your own house,” Bailey said. “I thought that was pretty cool.”
When the company asked if he wanted to be sponsored go back to school for carpentry, he said yes. Bailey was 18 when he returned to CNC to start Carpentry Level 1.
“The instructors are genuinely good people,” he said. “Everyone’s there to help you out and get you through it. Everyone wants you to succeed.”
Five years and four levels later, 23-year-old Bailey is about to become a Journeyman Carpenter; he wrote the Red Seal Provincial Exam at the start of April 2019.
While he enjoyed his time at College and made many lifelong friends, he said it’s a relief to be at the end.
When asked where he thinks he would have ended up if he hadn’t taken the CTC program, Carswell laughed and said, “I’d probably have gone to university like everyone else, not got a job, and still be in school.”