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$1.8 million lays a strong foundation for students in trades

For Immediate Release
Oct. 30, 2013

Ministry of Advanced Education

TERRACE – Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk today announced $1.8 million in one-time funding for 456 foundation seats in targeted trades training at 10 public post-secondary institutions.

The minister made the announcement during a visit to Northwest Community College’s Terrace campus, where he was joined by college president Denise Henning, staff, students and industry representatives for a visit to the college’s trades training facilities.

“Trades will continue to be a vital component of our economy now and even more so in the future,” said Virk. “In addition to targeting specific trades, the funding also supports the trades discovery program that gives young people an insight into what can be an exciting career and will put a pay cheque in their back pocket.”

Foundation training programs provide students with the basic knowledge and skills needed for entry into a particular occupation. Students receive credit for the first level of apprenticeship training in a specific field by the Industry Training Authority once they have successfully completed the foundation program.

The identified trades meet the labour market and economic development priorities of the BC Jobs Plan and Skills and Training Plan.

“A skilled workforce is a key driver of B.C.’s economic growth and with one million jobs to fill in B.C. by 2020, it has never been more important to prepare British Columbians with the right skills,” said Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour Shirley Bond. “Foundation training programs are a great example of how government is taking action through the BC Jobs Plan and the Skills and Training Plan to support training opportunities and ensure British Columbians are first in line for jobs.”

After a call for proposals, 10 public post-secondary institutions received funding for priority trades programs such as carpentry, automotive refinish technician, millwright and heavy-duty mechanic. This year, in addition to funding for foundation trades programs, the Ministry of Advanced Education has allocated a portion of the funding to support trades discovery programs on a limited pilot basis.

This will provide students with the opportunity to explore career options in trades and help them to progress onto foundation skills and apprenticeship programs.

“The ministry’s important investment fits directly to the distributed learning model that is so critical to our communities and industries in the northwest,” said Dr. Denise Henning, president and CEO, Northwest Community College. “This funding allows us, along with our educational, industry and community partners, to bring job skills training directly to where it is needed, developing a valuable, skilled northern workforce that will help drive our economy.”

“The BC Construction Association will make the most of these increased opportunities for skills training to assist participants in our Skilled Trades Employment Program,” said Manley McLachlan, BC Construction Association president. “With the increased demand for skills that we are facing in our sector, this is good news.”

In total, the $1.8 million will create 456 student spaces in 2013-14 with $1.6 million allocated for priority foundation programs. The remainder will be allocated to the pilot trades discovery programs at four of the 10 institutions.

This is the sixth year that the ministry has provided this type of targeted funding. From 2008-09 to 2013-14 the total funding for foundations skills programming is $10.3 million.

For more information on The BC Jobs Plan and Skills Training Plan:

A backgrounder follows.

Media Contact:

Dan Gilmore
Communications Manager
Ministry of Advanced Education
250 952-6400



Post-secondary institutions receiving foundation skills program funding

Ten post-secondary institutions will receive a total of $1.8 million for 456 student spaces in 2013-14.

Camosun College (Victoria Interurban campus)
Electrical: 54 seats
Carpentry: 14 seats
Trades discovery: 32 seats

British Columbia Institute of Technology (Burnaby campus)
Automotive refinish technician: 16 seats

Kwantlen Polytechnic University (Cloverdale campus)
Electrical: 16 seats
Trades discovery: 30 seats

Okanagan College (Kelowna campus)
Electrical: 54 seats
Plumbing/piping: 18 seats
Metal fabrication: 16 seats

College of the Rockies (Cranbrook campus)
Electrical: 16 seats

North West Community College (Prince Rupert campus)
Electrical: 16 seats
Millwright: 16 seats

College of New Caledonia (Fort St. James campus)
Heavy-duty mechanics: 16 seats

Vancouver Community College (Downtown Vancouver campus)
Heavy-duty/commercial transport mechanic: 16 seats

Thompson Rivers University
Location: Kamloops campus
Parts person: 16 seats
Professional cook 1, Aboriginal Students: 16 seats
Trowel trades/mason: 16 seats
Trades discovery: 36 seats

Location: Williams Lake campus
Professional cook 1: 12 seats

Vancouver Island University (Nanaimo campus)
Baking: 12 seats
Trades discovery: 18 seats

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