The British Columbia government announced today a $7.44-million investment in Okanagan College for skills training in high-priority trades seats at the college’s newly renovated, $35-million trades training complex in Kelowna.
The investment, through the Industry Training Authority (ITA), will fund 2,667 seats through to March 31, 2017 in various trades, including:
- Heavy mechanical group trades
The funding is part of the ITA’s annual allocation to B.C. post-secondary institutions and training providers to run various training programs throughout the province.
In response to the objectives outlined in B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and the McDonald Report, the B.C. government has worked in partnership with the ITA to begin building a demand-driven trades training system with funding aligned to specific in-demand trades.
The provincial government invests more than $94 million annually in industry training through the ITA. The ITA leads and co-ordinates British Columbia’s skilled trades system by working with employers, employees, industry, labour, training providers and government to issue credentials, manage apprenticeships, set program standards and increase opportunities in the trades.
Premier Christy Clark, MLA for Westside-Kelowna –
“By working with Okanagan College and all of our training providers throughout the province, we are making it possible for young British Columbians to get the skills they need for the jobs they want. The goal of B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint is simple: We want local women and men to be first in line for jobs in our strong and diverse economy.”
Steve Thomson, MLA for Kelowna-Mission –
“The future is bright in the Okanagan and across B.C., so it’s important that we prepare now for the job opportunities to come. This annual investment by our government and the ITA shows our continuing confidence in Okanagan College to deliver top-notch training in the skilled trades for the region’s young people and businesses.”
Norm Letnick, MLA for Kelowna-Lake Country –
“Students have attended Okanagan College for trades and apprenticeship training for more than 50 years, and with the opening of the new trades complex, it is poised to deliver training for the next 50 and beyond. This $7.1-million investment in trades seats will create more opportunities for men and women throughout the Okanagan.”
Gary Herman, CEO, Industry Training Authority –
“There is growing interest in trade careers across the province and the investment announced today will ensure British Columbians have the opportunity to access training in high-priority trades so that they are equipped with the right skills to respond to the job opportunities to come.”
Jim Hamilton, president, Okanagan College –
“The annual investment in our trades programming by the Province is critical to providing students – and the communities we serve – with the education that will help drive our region’s economic vitality. Coupled with community and employer support, this investment allows us to offer the programs that will give students the skills they need and that industry is looking for.”
- ITA provides more than 100 apprenticeship training programs in B.C., including 50 Red Seal trades.
- There are currently more than 39,000 registered apprentices in the industry training system (including youth) – more than double the 14,676 apprentices registered when ITA was created in 2004.
- B.C. is expecting up to one million job openings by 2025 due to retirements and economic growth.
- Eight of every 10 of these job openings will require post-secondary education or trades training.
Industry Training Authority: http://www.itabc.ca/
B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint : https://www.workbc.ca/Training-Education/B-C-s-Skills-for-Jobs-Blueprint.aspx
B.C. Labour Market Outlook: www.workbc.ca/Labour-Market-Information/B-C-s-Economy/Reports.aspx