Okanagan College will receive $171,428 to purchase new trades training equipment to support students entering in-demand occupations critical to the economy.

Examples of new equipment include a scissor lift, a pavement breaker, two electric jack hammers, and electric masonry table saws for construction craft students as well as an engine lift for heavy mechanic students.

Government made these funding decisions based on consultations with educational institutions and the Industry Training Authority, as well as the most-recent labour-market data.

The $171,428 for trades training equipment in 2014-15 is part of B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint commitment of $185 million over three years for trades training infrastructure and equipment at public post-secondary institutions. Funding for equipment builds on the announcement in July 2014 of 203 additional critical trades training seats and the $33-million trades training complex at Okanagan College.

Quotes:

Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson –

“Many of the top 60 in-demand fields requiring post-secondary training are in the trades. With training in the trades, Okanagan College students are preparing for a lifetime of career opportunities throughout B.C.”

Premier Christy Clark, MLA for Westside-Kelowna –

“With an estimated one million job openings by 2022, there is unprecedented opportunity ahead. This investment in trades training tools at Okanagan College means students will get experience with the latest equipment, and be ready sooner for good-paying careers.”

Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson –

“By learning a trade, British Columbians will have the skills that are wanted by employers in the Okanagan and throughout our province. Students studying a skilled trade at Okanagan College are taking the first step towards a life-long fulfilling career.”

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick –

“Our region will have approximately 98,300 job openings by 2022 and we want Okanagan residents to be first in-line for these in-demand careers. By providing Okanagan College with funding for new critical trade seats and equipment, the Province is helping to ensure students get the skills employers want.”

Okanagan College president Jim Hamilton –

“Okanagan College has a history of providing our community with the programs it needs to grow. This funding for trades training tools means Okanagan College can continue to connect students with training that answers their aspirations and meets industry needs.”

Quick facts:

  • B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint was launched in April 2014.
  • The Blueprint outlines how the Province is re-engineering the education system – from kindergarten through to post-secondary training and beyond – to make sure education and training aligns with B.C. jobs.
  • By 2022, there will be one million job openings in B.C. More than 78% of these jobs will require some form of post-secondary education, and 44% will be in skilled trades and technical occupations.

Learn more:

B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint: www.workbc.ca/skills

B.C.’s 2022 Labour Market Outlook: ow.ly/DOw6R