Equipping Vancouver Island tech, trades students with tools for the job

New technology and trades equipment will help set up students on Vancouver Island with the skills they need for rewarding careers.

Students at Camosun College, North Island College (NIC) and Vancouver Island University (VIU) are benefiting from industry-standard equipment. The schools are among 19 throughout B.C. that each received $160,000 to buy up-to-date equipment for trades and technology programs. Government funding for this year totalled $3 million.

“Student success is the key ingredient to creating, building and maintaining the best B.C.,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “Our strong economy and the technology driving it are rapidly evolving. Investing in students, skills and state-of-the-art training equipment at our province’s post-secondary institutions is a win-win.”

Trades and technology workers are in high demand. The 2018 B.C. Labour Market Outlook projects about 82,300 tech-related job openings and about 71,000 trades openings in the province in the next decade.

“Employment opportunities in the trades and technology sectors are increasing in every region of the province, helping to further B.C.’s economic prosperity,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology. “Training with the latest tools and equipment allows students to gain real-world skills that translate to the jobs of tomorrow.”

Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA for Courtenay-Comox –

“For trades and technology students, equipment and tools are as essential as textbooks. Our government is delivering results for the students and employers in the Comox Valley. This new equipment will help North Island College students get the skills they need for exciting futures in growing fields in their communities.”

Quick Facts:

  • Nineteen public post-secondary institutions throughout B.C. were awarded $160,000 in fall of 2018, for a total of $3 million to buy trades and technology equipment.
  • Equipment is now in place, benefiting students training for careers in the skilled trades and technology.
  • New equipment includes a lift and drag force sensor/data acquisition unit for Camosun’s mechanical engineering technology program, lab hardware for NIC’s interactive media programs and an overhead crane to allow VIU’s heavy mechanical trades program to expand into LNG.
  • High-demand 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 $3 million in equipment builds on the $5.4 million that was provided to 15 post-secondary institutions for trades and technology equipment in 2017.