Selkirk College Students Get In-Demand Skills with New Trades Training Equipment

With heightened call for a highly trained workforce to fill in-demand jobs, the provincial government has announced important funding for Selkirk College's School of Industry & Trades Training which will provide modern equipment for students on the Silver King Campus in Nelson.

Selkirk College will receive $315,428 to buy new trades training equipment that supports students entering in-demand occupations that are critical to the economy.

The funding 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 across the province.

“The new funding that Selkirk College has received will provide up-to-date trades equipment, allowing our students to reach their goals, secure high-demand employment, and serve the needs of our industry and community partners,” says Selkirk College President Angus Graeme.

Students in the Selkirk College Millwright/Machinist Program are amongst those who will benefit from new equipment provided through grants from the provincial government. The equipment will be operational in the coming months.

The Selkirk College trades programs are located at Nelson’s Silver King Campus. Examples of new trades training equipment include an industry-standard drill press for millwright students, a Lab Volt renewable energy trainer for electrical students and an air conditioning trainer for heavy mechanic students.

Preparing Students for In-Demand Employment

The provincial government based the funding for new equipment on consultations with educational institutions and the Industry Training Authority (ITA), as well as the most recent labour market data.

The College of the Rockies in the East Kootenay will also receive $325,274 for equipment in its trades programs.

“Our investment in trades training equipment supports a highly trained workforce,” says Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson. “Students in trades programs at College of the Rockies and Selkirk College are getting hands-on experience that employer’s need.”

B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint was launched in April, 2014 and 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, it is estimated that there will be one million job openings in B.C. and more than 78 per cent of those jobs will require some form of post-secondary education. Projections show that 44 per cent of those jobs will be in skilled trades and technical occupations.

“Sectors critical to our economic growth—such as oil and gas, mining, and forestry—need workers to graduate job ready,” says Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett. “New trades training equipment at Selkirk College and College of the Rockies gives students hands-on experience with tools currently used by these industries.”

The funding for new trades equipment builds on the 54 additional critical trades training spaces at Selkirk College and the 32 additional critical trades training spaces at College of the Rockies announced in July, 2014.

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