Students have greater opportunity to pursue a long-lasting, good-paying career in the skilled trades with the opening of a $32-million training facility at Thompson Rivers University (TRU).
“The new trades building at TRU will ensure students can jump-start their careers, so they can thrive and contribute to a strong, sustainable economy,” said Melanie Mark, B.C.’s Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “The trades offer good-paying, family-supporting careers throughout the province and we want to ensure that students in Kamloops and surrounding communities can access the best training possible.”
The new Industrial Training and Technology Centre allows students to get hands-on training with industry-standard equipment so they can be job-ready for high-demand employment opportunities. The new facility also expands TRU’s trades and technology programs, creating more seats and offering new programs for prospective skilled trades students in the region.
The $13.25 million in funding was provided through the Government of Canada’s Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund and more than $7 million was provided by the Province of British Columbia. The remaining $11.72 million was provided by TRU and donors.
The new facility was officially opened by Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA for Courtenay-Comox, on behalf of the minister.
The new trades centre is 5,344 square metres and increases capacity for TRU’s trades and technology programs by 550 full-time equivalent student spaces, subject to funding and demand. Programs such as instrumentation mechanic, construction and industrial electrician, and industrial mechanic (a.k.a. millwright) are housed in the new facility. These are in addition to new programs, such as power engineering, instrumentation engineering technology and refrigeration and air conditioning mechanic.
The project also includes the renovation of 455 square metres of space in the existing School of Trades and Technology building, which allows the architectural and engineering technology program to use dedicated teaching spaces.
Navdeep Bains, federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development –
“The completion of the project we’re celebrating today marks an exciting moment for TRU, for its students and for the community in Kamloops. Our government is proud to invest in infrastructure improvement at post-secondary institutions across Canada, helping students develop the skills they'll need for the jobs of today and tomorrow.”
Kirsty Duncan, federal Minister of Science and Sport –
“Encouraging scientific awareness in British Columbia and throughout Canada depends on supporting our world-class scientists and researchers. Through investments, such as those under the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund, we are continuing to lay the groundwork for making Canada a global leader in scientific excellence.”
Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA for Courtenay-Comox –
“Quality hands-on training in fields like power engineering and instrumentation engineering will go a long way in equipping students with the skills they need to succeed in high-demand trades careers in our province. Not only will the new Industrial Training and Technology Centre help local students study close to home, but it’ll also help attract prospective trades students from around the province.”
Christine Bovis-Cnossen, interim president and vice-chancellor, Thompson Rivers University –
“We are very pleased to see our new Industrial Training and Technology Centre finish construction and come to life as a strong continuing investment in our students. By enabling us to offer more places and new programs, we’re able to give a greater number of students the quality training they need for B.C.’s in-demand trades and technology jobs.”
Alyson Taylor, industrial instrumentation program student, Thompson Rivers University –
“Knowing there are new spaces for students really gives peace of mind because it increases the chance of getting into courses and programs we’re interested in. There’s a big need for trades and tech professionals, and we appreciate being supported by more seats, more programs and the ability to access modern, top-notch equipment and learning spaces.”
Shelley Gray, interim chief executive officer, Industry Training Authority –
“This facility will lay the foundation for skilled trades apprentices for years to come. It’s a great time to be in trades and this facility will help more students enter the trades and give them the opportunities to succeed. Helping apprentices and tradespeople get quality skills training is a positive investment in our future.”
- Investments through the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund are being used to modernize research facilities at Canadian universities and colleges, as well as improve the energy efficiency of these facilities and reduce their impact on the environment.
- As a result of these investments, students, professors and researchers will work in state-of-the-art facilities that advance the country’s best research. They will collaborate in specially designed spaces that support lifelong learning and skills training. They will work in close proximity with partners to turn discoveries into products or services. In the process, they will train for, and invent, the high-value jobs of the future. Their discoveries will plant the seeds for the next generation of innovators.
- In total, British Columbia received $256 million through the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund. Twenty public post-secondary institutions and one private First Nations institution in B.C. are benefiting from a total of 30 individual projects throughout the province.
Canada’s innovation agenda: http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/062.nsf/eng/home
Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund: http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/051.nsf/eng/home