An additional 148 trades training seats at Okanagan College will give students access to training in a variety of in-demand occupations that support a range of sectors that are important to the provincial economy.
Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson made the announcement during a visit at the Kelowna campus of Okanagan College, where the $33-million Kelowna Trades Complex is under construction and nearing completion. During his visit, Minister Wilkinson also had the opportunity to see trades training demonstrations and hear firsthand from trades students pursuing in-demand careers.
Okanagan College will receive a funding boost of $281,000 for the 148 additional critical trades seats in the carpenter, plumber, professional cook and welder programs.
- Carpenter: 32 seats, Level 1
- Carpenter: 16 seats, Level 2
- Carpenter: 32 seats, Level 3
- Plumber: 16 seats, Level 2
- Professional Cook: 36 seats, Level 2
- Welder: 16 seats, Level 3
The announcement coincided with the two-year anniversary of B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint, launched by government on April 29, 2014. B.C.’s Blueprint outlines a plan to re-engineer the education system by aligning education and training with in-demand jobs in British Columbia.
B.C. invests more than $7.5 billion in education and training each year, from early learning programs for the youngest British Columbians all the way through to post-graduate education. Over the next 10 years, government will redirect $3 billion in training investments to focus on skills and programs for in-demand jobs to better align annual investments to meet emerging labour market needs. In-demand occupations that require post-secondary education or training range from professional to management to trades in a range of sectors including technology, natural resources and health care.
Government has invested more than $1.97 million for 503 trades training seats and $1.79 million for equipment at Okanagan College since 2014.
Premier Christy Clark, MLA for Westside-Kelowna –
“B.C. expects to see almost a million job openings by 2024, including careers in trades. Creating more trades training opportunities with public post-secondary institutions will help meet that demand, and creates jobs that benefits families and communities throughout our province.”
Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson –
“Our government is putting students first by investing in trades training. B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint builds prosperity in our province by aligning education and training with jobs that are in demand.”
Steve Thomson, MLA for Kelowna-Mission –
“Okanagan College is a strong contributor to the local economy, providing skilled workers for employers in the community. This funding support means that more students will be able to get the hands-on training and skills needed for in-demand trades jobs.”
Norm Letnick, MLA for Kelowna-Lake Country –
“These 148 additional critical trades seats will create opportunities for students in the carpenter, plumber, professional cook and welder programs to take advantage of high-demand careers in Kelowna. Government is investing in trades training to build prosperity in British Columbia.”
Okanagan College president Jim Hamilton –
“This investment in trades seats reinforces the value of trades training in B.C. Our students and apprentices will be able to access these seats and finish their training so that they can meet the growing demand for skilled trades workers in the province.”
Okanagan College level two cook training student Nathan Robinson –
“This additional funding will create more opportunities for people like me. I think the key to achieving success is really to make the most of every opportunity you have. If these programs weren’t funded, there would be far fewer chances for people like me.”
B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint: https://www.workbc.ca/Training-Education/B-C-s-Skills-for-Jobs-Blueprint/Learn-about-Blueprint.aspx
BC Jobs Plan: http://engage.gov.bc.ca/bcjobsplan/
#BCTECH Strategy: https://bctechstrategy.gov.bc.ca/