New trades training equipment is coming to Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) 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.
“Equipping our students with the most up-to-date equipment allows them to gain the hands-on experience they need to step into family-supporting careers and be part of building the best B.C.,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “For students from the Nicola Valley and around the province, being able to learn on new equipment means they will have the 21st-century skills employers need.”
An apprenticeship in the skilled trades is an important entry point to a long-lasting, good-paying career that will provide opportunities throughout 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.
“NVIT strives to empower learners with knowledge and skills that are not only accessible and dynamic, but also rooted in Indigenous knowledge and methods of teaching,” said Ken Tourand, president, NVIT. “With updated equipment in facilities like our newly opened Centre of Excellence in Sustainability, learners in NVIT’s on-campus and community-based trades and technology programs will be trained on modern equipment, resulting in a sense of confidence in their skills and the training they receive at NVIT. They will have the opportunity to gain the skills needed to be leaders in the workforce once they graduate.”
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.
“Apprentices help build, make and maintain our communities, so it’s important that they are learning the newest and latest ways of working in trades,” said Shelley Gray, interim CEO of the Industry Training Authority (ITA). “Modern equipment and technology in the trades classrooms will make apprentices more successful throughout their apprenticeship journey and career.”
The $160,000 for NVIT 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.