As part of B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint, Okanagan College will be adding 203 training spaces to increase access and reduce waitlists for trades critical to the liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector and other industries.

The allocation is part of the $6.8 million announced earlier today to create 1,424 foundation and apprenticeship seats at 14 public post-secondary institutions throughout British Columbia.

Okanagan College will receive $928,000 to support the seats that will be available to students as early as September 2014. The additional 203 seats include:

  • 18 steam / pipefitter foundation seats.
  • 49 welder foundation seats.
  • 30 heavy equipment operator foundation seats.
  • 86 electrical foundation seats.
  • 20 heavy-duty equipment mechanic foundation seats.

Government announced an initial $6.6 million for critical trades seats as part of B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint. Funding allocations are based on the most-recent labour market data, on consultations with institutions, the Industry Training Authority and the Province’s Labour Market Priorities Board, and current waitlists, institutions’ capacity to add training seats.

A million job openings are expected in B.C. by 2022, with about 43% requiring college education or apprenticeship training. B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint lays out a comprehensive action plan to re-engineer education and training so British Columbia students and workers have the skills to be first in line for jobs in a growing economy. More information on B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint is available at:


Premier Christy Clark, MLA for Westside-Kelowna

“We’re focused on building a strong economy by training B.C. workers for high-demand jobs. Our Skills for Jobs Blueprint is re-engineering our education system to make sure British Columbians are first in line for new opportunities.”

Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk –

“We promised to increase access to critical trades training seats for in-demand jobs and we are delivering on our commitment to ensure we have a skilled workforce. Throughout British Columbia, we are re-engineering education and training to turn learners into earners.”

Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training Minister and Minister Responsible for Labour Shirley Bond –

“We are ensuring that training decisions are driven by industry-validated data and up-to-date sector information so that British Columbians have the right training to achieve long-term, well-paying jobs in liquefied natural gas and other industries. Our commitment in the Skills for Jobs Blueprint is to increase access and reduce waitlists for trades training that supports the needs of B.C.’s industry, employers, workers and families.”

Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson –

“We want British Columbians first in line for the one million jobs anticipated to open by 2022. More than 200 additional seats at Okanagan College means greater opportunities for students to get the skills they need to get ahead.”

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick –

“The B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint committed to delivering a trained workforce that will be ready for jobs in a range of industries including LNG. These additional 203 local seats will create opportunities for well-paying jobs that strengthen our families and communities.”

Okanagan College president Jim Hamilton –

“Creating additional capacity that will meet employer and student demand is welcome news. Okanagan College is pleased to help the province anticipate and respond to the pressures of the skills shortage.”

Industry Training Authority interim chief operating officer Jeff Nugent –

“We are focused on meeting the training needs for B.C.’s high-demand trades, and ITA is committed to working with our partners in industry, training, and education to respond quickly to ensure we have the right skills in place at the right time to create a highly skilled workforce across the province.”