Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson officially opened the 7,432-square-metre trades education facility at Camosun College that will provide students on Vancouver Island with more opportunities to train for in-demand careers.
“Training young people in skilled trades builds prosperity,” said Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson. “The new Centre for Trades Education and Innovation at Camosun College will help students to gain the skills and experience that they need to take advantage of exciting and rewarding careers.”
The Centre for Trades Education and Innovation at the Interurban Campus of Camosun College includes new facilities for a marine and metal trades training program that includes welding, sheet metal, metal fabrication, nautical and ship building and repair programs. Camosun will also offer a mechanical trades program that will train students in heavy mechanical trades and automotive service technician.
The Centre for Trades Education and Innovation provides Camosun with room for an additional 370 full-time-equivalent seats in trades training programs. Currently, the college has more than 2,700 students per year in 20 different trades foundation and apprenticeship programs.
“This is an incredible day for our college. Camosun is the largest provider of trades training on Vancouver Island and this new facility will assist us in educating more than 2,700 skilled workers each year,” said Camosun College president Sherri Bell. “It is part of our vision to ensure local trades students have the most up-to-date skills, technology and state-of-the-art facilities available to prepare them in meeting emerging marketplace and industry demands.”
As part of the project, older trades buildings on the Interurban Campus are being upgraded. Renovations will be completed by spring 2016 at the Jack White Building for electrical, plumbing and piping programs, and future renewable energy programs, and the John Drysdale Building for carpentry and joinery programs.
“The trades as a career offers endless opportunities to learn on the job and can be financially rewarding,” said Sara Wilson, a fourth-year Red Seal graduate with Camosun College sheet metal program. “With a Red Seal, I can find work anywhere in Canada. Camosun’s new facilities look amazing. I think the huge influx of new top-of-the-line technologies will really set Camosun apart. Students with hands-on experience with all the latest and greatest really will have a leg-up when they get into the real world. It's changing, and shops have a real need for apprentices who can run all the new computers and machines with the confidence that can only come from hands-on experience.”
The total cost of the project is $30 million, with $29.2 million contributed by the Province and $800,000 by Camosun College. In addition, the college has raised more than $4 million from community donors and federal grants to help with funding equipment that will be used in the facility.
- The new Centre for Trades Education and Innovation at Camosun College meets LEED Gold environmental standards.
- Almost 200 jobs, mainly construction, were created over the course of the project.
- In addition to the $29.2 million the Province has provided for the new Centre for Trades Education and Innovation, and renovations of older trades buildings, government has made the following investments at Camosun College as part of B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint, which launched on April 29, 2014:
- $920,552 since the launch of the Blueprint to fund 275 additional critical trades seats in such programs as welding, electrical, carpentry and plumbing.
- $1.788 million since the launch of the Blueprint for industry-standard trades training equipment.
- $155,000 in 2015-16 for 28 student spaces for an entry-level shipbuilding and ship-repair program in partnership with the Industrial Marine Training and Applied Research Centre.
- $153,000 in 2015-16 for 68 seats for the Trades Discovery program, which offers high-school students and young adults hands-on experience in a range of high-demand trades over 10 to 12 weeks.
- $75,000 in 2014-15 to Camosun, to partner with the Justice Institute of British Columbia and Selkirk College to pilot innovative training, as well as projects and programs, to increase the success of persons with disabilities.
- $50,000 in 2015-16 to develop programs to support people with disabilities to access and succeed in training aligned with in-demand jobs.