Students at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) will benefit from hands-on learning opportunities following a government investment in new industry-standard trades training equipment, including replacement high-precision machining equipment.
Burnaby North MLA Richard T. Lee announced nearly $1.56 million in funding on behalf of Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson during a visit to BCIT.
“New trades training equipment will assist BCIT students to develop the hands-on experience necessary for success in programs such as machinist, carpenter and automotive service technician,” Lee said. “The B.C. government is putting British Columbians first in line for jobs in a diverse, strong and growing economy with strategic investment.”
Funding of $1.56 million will go toward purchasing equipment for programs such as machinist, boilermaker, plumber and automotive service technician.
For example, high-precision machining will be supported with new Computer Numerical Control equipment. CNC machinist technicians design, manufacture and repair components, parts and tools from a variety of metals using an array of machines. Many machinists are responsible for transferring complex mechanical engineering drawings from the computer screen to computerized machinery. Machinists work in a range of industries such as aerospace, automobile, research and development and forestry and mining.
“BCIT is very pleased with this announcement for government investment in new equipment for our trades training programs,” said BCIT School of Energy interim dean Craig Cowan. “This funding will allow BCIT to upgrade aging equipment and expand in new areas — giving our students access to the latest tools used by employers in their fields.”
BCIT has received a total of $4.55 million since the launch of B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint toward trades training equipment, as well as $2.2 million for 577 additional trades seats. The Ministry of Advanced Education also provided $13.5 million in improvements toward the new BCIT and Vancouver Community College Motive Power Centre of Excellence at Annacis Island.
“A career as a machinist will offer me the opportunity to apply technology to creativity,” said BCIT CNC machinist technician student Mike Kalashnikoff. “Being familiar with the same type of equipment that employers are using will allow me to hit the ground running for maximum efficiency and productivity on the job-site.”
Government is investing $185 million in new trades training equipment and facilities through B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint to support students entering in-demand careers in the natural resource, industrial, marine, construction or hospitality sectors. For example, the B.C. Labour Market Outlook 2024 estimates that there will be 5,950 job openings for automotive service technicians, truck and bus mechanics and mechanical repairers.
Government launched B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint in April 2014 to align education and training with in-demand jobs in B.C. so that British Columbians have the skills and training they need to take advantage of the diverse, strong and growing economy.
Nearly one million job openings are expected in B.C. over the next decade, and eight out of ten of these openings will require post-secondary education. In-demand occupations requiring post-secondary education or training range from professional to management to trades.
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/
British Columbia Institute of Technology: http://www.bcit.ca/
A backgrounder follows.