The new $16.5-million Motive Power Centre of Excellence at Annacis Island, built to train British Columbia’s next generation of highly skilled tradespeople for the heavy-duty transportation sector, officially opened today.
“To meet the challenge of more than a million job openings by 2022, we need to provide B.C. students with modern training facilities,” said Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk. “The new Motive Power Centre of Excellence will prepare students to enter the workforce and fill in-demand jobs, including those in liquefied natural gas and related industries.”
The new 13,192 square-metre (142,000 square-foot) Motive Power Centre of Excellence replaces smaller, outdated facilities at BC Institute of Technology and Vancouver Community College. Heavy-duty mechanics, transport trailer mechanics, diesel mechanics and commercial transport mechanics, as well as railway conductors and forklift operators, will be trained at the new centre.
“Students at the Motive Power Centre of Excellence will get classroom and hands-on training and education right here in Delta, to prepare them for a range of rewarding careers in the heavy-duty transportation sector,” said MLA for Delta North Scott Hamilton. “B.C.’s Blueprint is aligning education and training to in-demand jobs that range from trades to professional to management.”
As well as providing more training space, the Annacis Island facility is home to a 109-tonne (120-ton) MAN Engine that provides students in a number of programs with relevant, hands-on learning experience.
“BCIT is very proud to open the Motive Power Centre of Excellence in collaboration with VCC, our government and industry partners,” said Kathy Kinloch, president of BCIT. “This centre provides a powerful blend of relevant industry input with vital applied learning, helping to ensure our economy has the skilled labour it needs, when and where it needs it, giving students the opportunity to be first in line for tomorrow’s jobs across British Columbia.”
This project supports the B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint commitment to make sure British Columbians have the skills and training needed to be first in line for jobs. As part of the Blueprint, over the next three years, government will invest $185 million in trades and skills infrastructure. In addition to the Motive Power Centre of Excellence, this includes a number of projects currently underway, such as new trades facilities at Camosun College and Okanagan College.
“This funding is a significant investment towards skills training in B.C.,” said VCC president Peter Nunoda. “Prior to this move, our heavy mechanical programs were performing at 177% utilization. The new facility provides our students the opportunity to learn in a spacious state-of-the-art facility, while acquiring the hands-on, job-ready skills necessary for these in-demand careers. Our staff and students are extremely pleased with the Motive Power Centre of Excellence’s larger space and new equipment.”
The Ministry of Advanced Education is funding $13.5 million toward the $16.5-million total project cost for tenant improvements. The Province also provided a one-time grant of $4.5 million to cover moving and transition costs including furniture, fixtures and equipment associated with the relocation.
February 2014 news release:
B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint: www.workbc.ca/skills
Stacey McGaghey Jones
Ministry of Advanced Education
BCIT Media Relations Manager
Director of Communications and Government Relations
Vancouver Community College