Camosun College student Kyle Hilchey laughs with MLA Andrew Wilkinson as Wilkinson uses a torch during a provincial announcement for additional trades training money at Camosun.

Camosun College ups trades training with funding boost

14 B.C. post-secondary institutions to bump up critical-trades training using $6.1 million in new B.C. funding

  • Apr. 30, 2015 7:00 a.m.

Camosun College’s Interurban campus will expand its trades training enrolment by 370 full-time spaces next fall as 14 B.C. post-secondary institutions bump up critical-trades training, thanks to $6.1 million in new provincial funding.

The announcement was made Monday near the construction site of Camosun’s Trades Education and Innovation Complex.

The new spaces should reduce wait lists by an average of 44 per cent for students entering high-demand trades, said Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson.

“This important funding is the welcome operational complement to the Province’s earlier investment in Camosun’s new Trades Education and Innovation Complex set to open this fall,” said Camosun’s interim president Peter Lockie. “It allows us to address critical wait-lists and deliver training to more students in our trades foundation programs, particularly in the areas of electrical, carpentry and welding.”

Many of the trades-training seats are designated in support of the skilled-labour requirements for the construction of the Site ‘C’ dam. The breakdown includes 783 foundation seats and 646 apprenticeship seats in critical trades such as electricians, plumbers, heavy duty mechanics, pipe fitters and power engineers.

Last year, the government committed nearly $7 million towards creating 1,488 critical trades seats and another $4.4 million to trades equipment. Camosun is one of three campuses building a new trades centre along with the Okanagan College in Kelowna and the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology in Merritt.

Camosun’s Trades Education and Innovation Complex is set to finish construction this fall and will eventually accommodate 370 new full-time seats in trades training programs.

The expansion costs $30 million, $29.2-million of which is from the province. Students receive credit for the first level of apprenticeship training in a specific field by the Industry Training Authority upon successful completion of the Camosun program. The province anticipates one million job openings by 2022, and the government says nearly four-fifths of those jobs will require a form of post-secondary education. About half of jobs are expected to be in skilled trades and technical occupations.

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