B.C. invests $1.8 million in Selkirk trades

High-priority training spots offered for electricians, carpenters, cooks, joiners and welders

Selkirk welding student Conor McIntyre was hard at work on a class assignment when the Star swung by the Silver King Campus on Thursday morning. The B.C. government announced a large cash infusion for the trades program this week.

Aspiring welders, carpenters and cooks rejoice!

Four hundred and fifty eight seats for future trades students just opened up at Selkirk’s Silver King campus thanks to a $1.85 million cash infusion from the provincial government.

“We are expecting almost one million job openings in B.C. by 2025,” jobs minister Shirley Bond said during her announcement on Wednedsday.

“We need to ensure that we have the workforce necessary for our growing economy today and in the future.”

The cash means electricians, carpenters, cooks, joiners and welders will be given opportunities to take advantage of the coming opportunities. The investment was made through the Industry Training Authority (ITA) and will fund these programs through to March 31, 2017.

“The investment announced today will ensure British Columbians have the opportunity to access training in high-priority trades so that they are equipped with the right skills to respond to the job opportunities to come,” said Gary Herman of the ITA.

The money will buoy Selkirk’s existing program.

“Trades foundation programs are the cornerstone of Selkirk College’s yearly training plan,” said trades program dean Kate Pelletier.

“Along with our apprenticeship programs, they provide opportunities for individuals in our region to train in areas that will be in demand, provide them with a rewarding career and create a successful livelihood.”

B.C. is expecting up to one million job openings by 2025 due to retirements and economic growth. Eight out of ten of these jobs will require post-secondary education or trades training.

Since ITA was created in 2004 the number of B.C. apprentices in the training system has doubled to 39,000, including almost 50 Red Seal trades.

 

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