New and expanded buildings are springing up on the campuses of public post-secondary institutions throughout British Columbia.
These investments are more than concrete, carpentry, electrical and plumbing. New classrooms, laboratories and workshops provide the foundation for public post-secondary institutions to train and educate hundreds of thousands of students in anticipation of almost one million job openings expected by 2025.
B.C. employers are looking for skilled and trained employees who are ready to meet the demands of the workplace. The new and renovated buildings will ensure students can access learning environments that will enable them to develop those in-demand skills, including state-of-the-art labs, spaces for collaborative training and industry-standard workshops.
The construction projects will generate hundreds of direct and indirect jobs that include suppliers, tradespeople, engineers, architects and designers.
Examples of projects underway and nearing completion:
- $123-million campus for Emily Carr University of Art + Design. The new campus will provide students, faculty and staff with modern, spacious facilities that will continue to attract domestic and international students. Completion is expected mid-2017.
- $36-million Chip and Shannon Wilson School of Design at Kwantlen Polytechnic University Richmond campus. The new building will provide a home for a range of current design programs such as the bachelor of design in fashion and technology, bachelor of interior design, continuing and professional education and more. Completion is expected by the end of 2017.
- $80-million upgrade and expansion to the undergraduate teaching laboratories at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver will provide students with modern classroom and laboratory space that will allow them to conduct research and gain the skills needed for sectors such as the life sciences. Completion is expected by spring 2018.
- $126-million Energy Systems Engineering Building at Simon Fraser University in Surrey includes the mechatronics technology incubator program that helps students commercialize their research and become part of the B.C. technology sector. Completion is expected by the end of 2018.
- $30-million Industrial Training and Technology Centre at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops will facilitate new diploma programs such as power engineering and instrumentation engineering. Skilled trades and technical students will graduate ready to work in areas such as construction, pulp and paper manufacturing and petrochemical production. Completion is expected by spring 2018.
These and many other projects will support students studying for careers that are in-demand in a wide range of sectors, such as high-tech, life sciences and trades, that support a prosperous B.C. economy.
The new undergraduate life-sciences teaching laboratories at UBC, for instance, will provide the educational foundation for students who choose to enter fields where research and development may benefit human and animal health, agriculture or biotechnology. This is one example of post-secondary activities that support the health and well-being of British Columbians.
In 2017, the Ministry of Advanced Education will continue its work to meet the BC Jobs Plan and B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint commitment to connect students with the infrastructure, equipment and programs they need for in-demand careers that help support and grow the economy.
Why It Matters:
- There will be almost one million job openings over the next 10 years.
- Eight of 10 of the job openings will require post-secondary education or training.
- Economic growth will generate thousands of job openings but replacement of retiring workers will generate over two-thirds of job openings over the next ten years.
Andrew Wilkinson, Minister of Advanced Education –
“Our government is putting students first by investing hundreds of millions in new and expanded buildings for our colleges and universities. New classrooms, labs and workshops will ensure that our students are prepared for the jobs that support our prosperity.”
- The B.C. government is directly investing $921 million in planned capital expenses in the post-secondary sector over the next three years.
- Government has invested more than $3.3 billion in capital and infrastructure projects at public post-secondary institutions in British Columbia since 2001, with more than 1,900 capital projects throughout the province.
Public post-secondary investment map: https://flic.kr/p/P1Dk9z
B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint: https://www.workbc.ca/Training-Education/B-C-s-Skills-for-Jobs-Blueprint/Learn-about-Blueprint.aspx
2025 Labour Market Outlook: https://www.workbc.ca/Labour-Market-Industry/B-C-s-Economy/Reports.aspx