Vancouver Community College (VCC) is receiving $694,605 toward the purchase of new trades-training equipment that will benefit students in the auto service technician, culinary arts, baking and pastry arts and heavy-mechanical trades programs.
Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson made the announcement during a visit to the VCC Broadway campus.
“This investment in equipment will help Vancouver Community College provide hands-on learning experiences for students as they work through their programs,” said Wilkinson. “By giving students the opportunity to develop and enhance their skills at an early stage, our government is helping to set them up for future success.”
VCC intends to purchase equipment such as training vehicles and parts for the automotive service technician program, 15-litre training engines for the heavy-mechanical trades program and a mobile food station with refrigeration for the culinary arts program.
“This announcement is very meaningful for VCC’s trades programs and its students,” said VCC president and CEO Peter Nunoda. “The benefits of funding equipment for the trades are immediately recognized and appreciated by employers seeking apprentices with the most up-to-date training and knowledge of industry-specific equipment.”
With this announcement, VCC has received almost $2 million since the launch of B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint toward trades-training equipment, as well as $383,280 to support the creation of an additional 128 trades seats for in-demand occupations. The Ministry of Advanced Education also provided $13.5 million in funding toward improvements at the new Motive Power Centre of Excellence at Annacis Island, which supports students at both Vancouver Community College and the BC Institute of Technology.
“Because our industry is so fluid, it’s important to have the newest equipment to train with,” said automotive service technician student James Tobin. “Using new equipment will help us keep up-to-date in an industry that is constantly changing.”
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.
“The rapid advancement of technology in the automobile industry requires technicians to perform diagnostic routines on all vehicles, from electric hybrids to the recent development of autonomous vehicles,” said automotive service technician department leader Robert Kunka. “Funding of modern equipment is critical for the implementation of proper procedures to influence timely repairs.”
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 British Columbia over the next decade, and eight out of 10 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/
Vancouver Community College: http://www.vcc.ca/