The future is bright for Camosun’s Sheet Metal and Metal Fabrication students.

Ship builders, mechanics, sustainable construction workers –Camosun College of Victoria will train close to 2,750 skilled trades and technical workers every year, thanks to new investment from the Province of BC, Western Economic Diversification Canada and local industry partners.

The funds are supporting the construction of Camosun’s new Centre for Trades Education and Innovation at the Interurban campus to train more trades and technical students to meet future employment demands.

According to recent forecasts, over one million job openings are predicted by 2020 because of baby-boomer retirements and economic growth. Within these job openings, over 78 per cent will need post-secondary education; 43 per cent of those will require specific technical or trades training.

Camosun’s new 80,000 square foot training facility will be built to LEED gold standards and is set to be completed by 2015. It will offer modern, well-equipped spaces including a new marine and metal-trades centre to house welding, sheet metal and ship building and repair programs, and a new mechanical trades centre to house heavy duty/commercial truck transport and automotive service and aerospace-related programs.

The project also includes repurposing existing trades shops to create a revitalized sustainable construction and renewable energy trades facility and a new technology and innovation centre to house Camosun’s applied research and technology capabilities for local industry including:  product prototyping, research, technical consultation and design.

Phase one of construction is almost complete with the demolition and removal of the old Tillicum Lodge on the north end of Interurban campus. The project then moves into phase two with the finalizing of architectural designs and electrical upgrades to current buildings.

“This new centre will help us better meet the demand for emerging skilled trades central to our local economy, such as ship building, manufacturing, resource infrastructure, and of course green trades," says Camosun President Kathryn Laurin.

With over 2,500 students currently enrolled in 20 different trades foundation and apprenticeship programs each year and capacity for 250 more after 2015, Camosun is the largest trades educator on Vancouver Island and a key economic driver in meeting the upcoming skills gap to keep our regional economy healthy.

“Camosun has a bold vision to become a BC Centre of Excellence in Trades Training, with state-of-the-art learning and an innovative blending of trades education and applied research that will truly meet and exceed the expectations of employers and industry,” says President Laurin.