More than $5.4 million is being invested in industry-standard training equipment to give trades and tech students the skills they need to succeed, announced Premier John Horgan during a visit to Northwest Community College (NWCC).
“Giving students access to modern trades equipment will help them get the skills they need to succeed,” said Premier Horgan. “We’re opening up the doors of opportunity for more people by investing in skills training throughout the province.”
The funding allows 15 public post-secondary institutions to replace obsolete equipment and acquire the latest technology to respond to industry changes and curriculum requirements, which will benefit students and employers.
Training equipment funded by the program ranges from a computer lab set for a digital media technology program, to 3D printers, industry-standard cooking equipment, and hot water boilers and furnaces for plumbing and gas-fitting programs.
“Students need to get their education and training on the same type of equipment that industry uses,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “Our investment will help students succeed and thrive in a variety of jobs in different sectors, from carpentry to computing, through to automotive and web design.”
NWCC has purchased a table saw with a unique safety feature to protect students from cuts and severe injury, a used low-emissions vehicle for its automotive program and a new industrial stove for its professional cook program.
"This new equipment helps our students sharpen their skill sets and is critical to ensure that we are preparing them for opportunities available in the trades,” said NWCC president Ken Burt. “This investment means many of our trades students will be working on modern equipment and using state-of-the-art tools that position them well for the future."
“Having access to training on modern equipment means that, as I finish my training and enter the workforce, I will be very well prepared to work for employers anywhere,” said Lucas Hnidan, NWCC automotive service technician student.
The programs support a range of in-demand occupations likely to be a substantial part of the 917,000 job openings expected by 2027. Occupations range from computer programmers and interactive media developers, through to automotive service technicians and carpenters.
“This investment will help our skilled trades apprentices keep ahead of the curve, as they learn on new and modern technologies and equipment,” said Gary Herman, CEO, Industry Training Authority. “Apprentices will be able to take and apply what they’ve learned and add value to their employers.”
The tech equipment also supports the expansion of tech spaces in British Columbia. The Province is funding an additional 2,900 tech spaces by 2023.
A backgrounder follows.