New trades training equipment is coming to Selkirk College to better prepare students for the workplace when they leave the classroom.
The funding announcement of $160,000 for trades and technology equipment comes during Apprenticeship Recognition Week in British Columbia. This year, Apprenticeship Recognition Week is Nov. 4 to 10.
“We’re working to make sure trades students in the West Kootenays and throughout the province are able to gain the training they need close to home to start rewarding careers and support their families,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “Bringing the right tools and equipment to classrooms and shops is one way we can make sure students have the skills they need to help build the best B.C.”
An apprenticeship in the skilled trades is an important entry point to a long-lasting, good-paying career that will provide opportunities around the province. A key element of apprenticeship is on-the-job training. About 80% is on the job, while 20% is technical learning in the classroom.
“There is a lot of technology being used in trades these days and this funding enables apprentices to learn on current equipment and tools, setting them up for success with their employers and apprenticeship journey,” said Shelley Gray, interim CEO of the Industry Training Authority (ITA). “Apprentices are the future of B.C. trades, and we’re thankful for the government’s continued support for trades training in the province.”
The funding will be used to buy new and replace aging trades and technology equipment. Examples of trades training equipment purchased by various post-secondary institutions last year include a used hybrid car for automotive programs, various types of saws for construction trades programs and equipment for culinary programs. Technology equipment purchased last year included iPads, 3D printers and new servers, as well as wind and solar energy training equipment.
“The success of our students relies on providing them with a complete learning experience – teaching them the right skills to build the foundations of their careers,” said Angus Graeme, president of Selkirk College. “Having the most up-to-date equipment is an important part of providing the best hands-on learning possible for a range of trades careers, including millwrights, woodworkers and electricians.”
The $160,000 for Selkirk College is part of an investment of $3 million in 2018-19 at 19 public post-secondary institutions in new trades and tech training equipment. The funding is allocated for this fiscal year, with the new equipment expected to be in place by April 2019.
- This is the fourth year B.C. has proclaimed Apprenticeship Recognition Week to celebrate and recognize apprenticeships and the positive effect they have on individuals, businesses and the economy.
- Women represent less than 9% of apprentices, and less than 5% of working women in B.C. have chosen a career in the construction trades. In March 2018, the Province announced $1.8 million worth of services and programs to support women working in or starting careers in the building trades.
- Trades and technology workers are in high demand in B.C. It’s anticipated the provincial economy will have 82,300 job openings in technology and 70,900 job openings in the trades by 2028.
- High-demand trades occupations in B.C. include millwrights, heavy duty mechanics and carpenters.
- High-demand occupations in the tech industry include civil engineering, computer and software engineering, programming, web development and technicians.
- The ITA funded more than 26,000 apprenticeship seats last year in more than 100 trades programs at 15 public post-secondary institutions, as well as private post-secondary institutions.
- The $3 million in equipment funding builds on $5.4 million provided to 15 post-secondary institutions for trades and technology equipment last year.