Government is providing $4.5-million to move heavy-duty transportation programs offered by BC Institute of Technology (BCIT) and Vancouver Community College (VCC) into a new Motive Power Centre.
Motive power programs train heavy-duty mechanics, transport trailer mechanics, diesel mechanics, commercial transportation mechanics, railway conductors and forklift operators.
"Around 43 per cent of the one million jobs expected to open by 2020 will require trades or technical training," said Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk. "Co-locating two existing heavy-duty transportation programs into one centre will benefit students, industry and employers."
The new Motive Power Centre will create opportunities to develop synergies between the two post-secondary institutions as well as with prospective employers, while also providing the physical space and opportunity for industry to be present in the centre.
"The new motive power centre will have the space necessary to facilitate partnerships with industry giving students the most relevant current training opportunities possible," said Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour Shirley Bond. "To ensure our students are first in line for the thousands of jobs available now and opening up in the future it is critical that we align training with the jobs that are in demand."
When the Motive Power Centre opens to students in September 2014, it will focus on collaboration, innovation, and the efficient use of equipment and resources. At 142,000-square-feet, the facility sets a solid foundation for partnership opportunities with industry.
The centre will continue to train and graduate students in many industries that are identified as a priority in the BC Jobs Plan. This includes mining, oil and gas, shipbuilding, aerospace and the LNG sector.
An estimated 13,000 people in B.C. are employed in the field of heavy-duty commercial transportation, and as diesel and transport trailer technicians. BCIT and VCC produce 650 graduates annually - more than half of the heavy-duty transportation graduates entering the province's workforce each year.
"The Annacis Island centre has many benefits for students," said BCIT president Kathy Kinloch. "Our students will have better teaching facilities, learning and laboratory spaces, and the opportunity to connect with industry. This will enable them to be even more employable and to connect with the government's job plan."
"This new centre speaks to the value of collaboration and partnership within the post-secondary sector," said VCC interim president Doug Callbeck. "The new facility will give our students the opportunity to learn in a state-of-the-art training environment, gaining the hands-on skills and experience they need for the jobs of tomorrow."
Once transported to the site in mid-2014, a signature piece of the Annacis Island centre will be the 140-ton, five-metre tall Man Engine. Donated by Man Diesel and Turbo Canada and valued at $1.25-million, the engine will be a cornerstone of training curriculum within marine, motive power and power engineering at BCIT. The engine will provide relevant, hands-on opportunities for heavy-duty mechanics across several industry sectors.
The $4.5 million in one-time funding is being providing by the Ministry of Advanced Education to cover moving and transition costs.
The relocation of the BCIT programs from their current location at Great Northern Way will make way for the new campus of the Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Construction of the new campus is slated for fall 2014.
Ministry of Advanced Education
BCIT Media Relations Coordinator
Director of Communications and Government Relations
Vancouver Community College