Student Jenny Albrecht gives Advanced Education Minister John Yap and Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA Ida Chong a quick lesson in welding at Camosun College on Thursday.

Province funds $30M trades centre for Camosun

After 40 years of hard use, Camosun College’s trades training facilities will get a needed facelift and two new buildings

After 40 years of hard use, Camosun College’s trades facilities will get a needed facelift and two new buildings from a $29.2 million provincial government grant.

Advanced Education Minister John Yap announced the funding on Thursday in the welding hall at Camosun’s Interurban campus. Yap and fellow B.C. Liberal cabinet minister Ida Chong then had a quick, hands-on welding lesson.

“Students need to get the latest updated skills and training in demand today and in demand tomorrow,” Yap told a few hundred assembled students and staff.

“Camosun is the largest trades training facility on Vancouver Island. We want to make sure the facilities that are needed here are in the southern Vancouver Island.”

Seaspan’s $8-billion federal shipbuilding contract is playing a role in the push to develop more skilled workers in marine and metal trades, but the province also faces a looming skilled labour shortage.

“A highly trained workforce is the backbone of our economy,” said Camosun College president Kathryn Laurin. “We need to increase the number of people in college to get folks the right skill sets and into the workforce.”

Overall, the project will give Camosun Interurban 200,000 square feet of trades training space. A new 45,000 square foot building will house marine and metal trades, and a 35,000 square foot building will house heavy-duty and automotive mechanical trades. Existing buildings, built in the 1960s, will be retrofitted and refurbished.

The added space will allow about 370 more full times trades student per year, added to 2,200 now across 20 different fields.

Tom Roemer, Camosun vice-president of strategic development, said the college is fortunate to have land available – the new trades centre will go in place of Tillicum Lodge, a condemned building that has sat unused for decades.

Camosun will chip in $800,000 to the project and plans to issue tenders for design immediately. Roemer expects the buildings to open in late 2015, which should dovetail with the ramp-up of federal shipbuilding, but noted that marine and aerospace companies, such as Seaspan and Viking Air, need people now.

Malcolm Barker, vice-president of Seaspan Victoria Shipyards, said the shipyard has two major long-term contracts, overhauling navy submarines and frigates, even before taking on federal fleet replacement. The shipyards employ 116 apprentices from Camosun, and has a 1,000 workers on job.

“This recognizes that shipbuilding is important in B.C.,” Barker said, referring to the new trades training facilities. “The province is saying the industry has a future. It’s a telling point for us, and we need an educated workforce.”

editor@saanichnews.com

 

Just Posted

Join Groove Kitchen for a funky free concert at Brydon Park in Saanich

The July 23 concert is one of eight hosted by Saanich Parks and Recreation this summer

City of Victoria to hold formal safety review after man was left hanging from raised bridge

More and more people seen ignoring safety measurements in place, city staff say

Saanich council will consider tax reduction scenarios for 2020 budget

Coun. Rebecca Mersereau however warns of cutting additional funding for capital expenditures

Oak Bay instructors teach free outdoor yoga classes at Willow Beach Park

Practise yoga for free Tuesdays at 6 p.m. all summer

Jurors talk about trial of U.S. man convicted in 1987 murders of Saanich couple

Three jurors offer a window into deliberations during the trial

VIDEO: Missing teens named as suspects in three northern B.C. killings

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky are wanted in the deaths of Lucas Fowler, Chynna Deese, unknown man

POLL: Do you use a food delivery app?

With modern life becoming more hectic with each passing day and so… Continue reading

Vancouver Island teacher suspended for professional misconduct

Grade 8 shop teacher admits to use of vulgar language and profanities toward students, parents

Northern B.C. double homicide, suspicious death: A timeline of what we know

Two teens from Port Alberni are now wanted Canada-wide in connection to the three deaths

B.C. wine industry legend Harry McWatters dies

Among his accomplishments, McWatters founded the province’s first estate winery, Sumac Ridge Estate

Provincial health body refuses to release full findings of cancer triage system audit

Information and Privacy Commissioner asked to review redactions

Southern resident killer whale died of blunt trauma, likely from ship

J34 was found more than two years ago near Sechelt, but the necropsy findings have now been released

B.C. rail crossing death highlights risks for people in wheelchairs: watchdog

Transportation Safety Board points to ‘persistent risks faced by persons using assistive devices’

B.C. teens wanted in double homicide, suspicious death spotted in Manitoba

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky were thought to have been seen in the Gillam area

Most Read