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Province of British Columbia
For Immediate Release
Nov. 7, 2018
Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training
Northern Lights College trades students benefit from new equipment

FORT ST. JOHN – New trades training equipment is coming to Northern Lights College (NLC) to better prepare students for the workplace when they leave the classroom.

The funding announcement of $160,000 for trades and technology equipment comes during Apprenticeship Recognition Week in British Columbia. This year, Apprenticeship Recognition Week is Nov. 4 to 10.

“For students in trades and technology, hands-on learning is crucial,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “Our job as a government is to make sure students have the most up-to-date equipment and training they need to take advantage of a strong economy, support their families and build their communities.”

An apprenticeship in the skilled trades is an important entry point to a long-lasting, good-paying career that will provide opportunities around the province. A key element of apprenticeship is on-the-job training. About 80% is on the job, while 20% is technical learning in the classroom.

“Northern Lights College students will learn on the most up-to-date equipment, which sets them up for future success,” said Shelley Gray, interim CEO of the Industry Training Authority (ITA). “B.C. apprentices are the future of trades in B.C., and we’re thankful for this funding that puts quality of apprentice training first, ensuring they are gaining the right skills and knowledge to have a rewarding skilled trades career.”

The funding will be used to buy new and replace aging trades and technology equipment. Examples of trades training equipment purchased by various post-secondary institutions last year include a used hybrid car for automotive programs, various types of saws for construction trades programs and equipment for culinary programs. Technology equipment purchased last year included iPads, 3D printers and new servers, as well as wind and solar energy training equipment.

“Students at Northern Lights College campuses are learning the skills they need to work right here in their own communities in fields like automotive repair, carpentry, millwright and welding,” said Bryn Kulmatycki, president of NLC. “Providing students with up-to-date instruction on state-of-the-art equipment ensures we are giving them the best career training possible.”

The $160,000 for NLC is part of an investment of $3 million in 2018-19 at 19 public post-secondary institutions in new trades and tech training equipment. The funding is allocated for this fiscal year, with the new equipment expected to be in place by April 2019.

Quick Facts:

  • This is the fourth year B.C. has proclaimed Apprenticeship Recognition Week to celebrate and recognize apprenticeships and the positive effect they have on individuals, businesses and the economy.
  • Women represent less than 9% of apprentices, and less than 5% of working women in B.C. have chosen a career in the construction trades. In March 2018, the Province announced $1.8 million worth of services and programs to support women working in or starting careers in the building trades.
  • Trades and technology workers are in high demand in B.C. It’s anticipated the provincial economy will have 82,300 job openings in technology and 70,900 job openings in the trades by 2028.
  • High-demand trades occupations in B.C. include millwrights, heavy duty mechanics and carpenters.
  • High-demand occupations in the tech industry include civil engineering, computer and software engineering, programming, web development and technicians.
  • The ITA funded more than 26,000 apprenticeship seats last year in more than 100 trades programs at 15 public post-secondary institutions, as well as private post-secondary institutions.
  • The $3 million in equipment funding builds on $5.4 million provided to 15 post-secondary institutions for trades and technology equipment last year.
Nova Pierson
Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training
250 208-2743
Markus Pickartz
Director, Marketing and Communications
Northern Lights College
250 784-5465
Susan Kirk
Director, Communications
Industry Training Authority
778 785-2410

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