Province invests $18 million in trades training at BCIT

Photo courtesy of the Province of B.C.

Photo courtesy of the Province of B.C.

The Province announced yesterday that it has invested, through the Industry Training Authority (ITA), $18 million in British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) for trades training through to March 31, 2017, to meet industry needs and ensure quality training in high-priority trades.

In response to the objectives outlined in B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and the McDonald Report, the B.C. government has worked in partnership with the ITA to begin building a demand-driven trades training system with funding aligned to specific high-priority trades.

“We are expecting almost one million job openings in B.C. by 2024. That’s why our government is making these crucial investments targeting high-priority trades in our post-secondary institutions, so that we can ensure that we have the workforce necessary for our growing economy,” said Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour.

With the government’s $18-million investment, the ITA will fund 6,769 trades training seats at BCIT, including:

  • electrician
  • carpenter
  • aircraft maintenance technician
  • welder
  • automotive service technician

During the announcement, which took place in a BCIT automotive service technician training facility, the provincial government highlighted the automotive trades, noting that automotive sales have climbed over eight per cent compared to one year ago, and the growth in B.C.’s new motor vehicle sales was stronger than the rest of Canada. It is forecasted that the automotive sector is anticipating up to 20,000 vacancies over the next decade, due to industry growth and retirements.

The provincial government invests more than $94 million annually in industry training through the ITA. The ITA leads and co-ordinates British Columbia’s skilled trades system by working with employers, employees, industry, labour, training providers and government to issue credentials, manage apprenticeships, set program standards and increase opportunities in the trades.

“As the largest trades training provider in British Columbia, industry is looking to BCIT to provide skilled tradespeople. The continued support from the ITA allows us to offer high-quality training for students who are eager to step into rewarding careers,” said Kathy Kinloch, president and CEO, British Columbia Institute of Technology.

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