BC Government Announcement: Additional Trades Seats Support VIU Students

Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson, left, was at Vancouver Island University's Nanaimo campus on Wednesday, April 20 to announce funding for an additional 96 trades seats. Also pictured: VIU power engineering student Elaine Zaplotinsky, second from left, Parksville-Qualicum MLA Michelle Stilwell and VIU President Dr. Ralph Nilson.

April 20, 2016 - 12:45pm

An additional 96 trades seats will give Vancouver Island University (VIU) students access to training in a variety of in-demand occupations in a range of sectors that support the provincial economy.

Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson made the announcement during a visit to the Nanaimo campus of VIU. During his visit, Wilkinson also had the opportunity to see trades training demonstrations and hear firsthand from trades students pursuing careers in their chosen field.

“Vancouver Island University provides high-quality, hands-on training for students entering the trades,” Wilkinson said. “An additional 96 trades seats will ensure that the increasing demand for spaces continues to be met.”

VIU is receiving a funding boost of $262,000 for trades seats in the electrical, heavy duty equipment technician and power engineer programs:

  • Electrical: 16 seats, Level 2

  • Electrical: 16 seats, Level 3

  • Electrical: 32 seats, Level 4

  • Heavy Duty Equipment Technician: 16 seats, Level 3

  • Power Engineer: 16 seats, Level 4

“Government is supporting the Vancouver Island community and creating opportunities for students to access training for in-demand trades careers,” Parksville-Qualicum MLA Michelle Stilwell said. “We are investing in education and training through B.C.’s Skills for Job Blueprint to position British Columbians for success in the growing economy.”

The announcement today comes shortly before the two-year anniversary of B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint, launched by government on April 29, 2014. B.C.’s Blueprint outlines a plan to re-engineer the education system by aligning education and training with in-demand jobs in B.C.

“Vancouver Island University thanks the provincial government for this funding, which will ensure we can continue to be responsive to industry’s demands for more skilled trades workers,” VIU president Ralph Nilson said. “As a regional university, this type of funding allows us to meet our commitment to offer relevant training to our students – training that will prepare them to enter the workforce and fill in-demand jobs within a variety of sectors.”

Government has invested more than $1.76 million for 372 trades training seats and $1.4 million for equipment at VIU since 2014.

“Having access to trades training in the mid-island is so important and I hope there’s more of this to come because the demand is growing for skilled tradespersons,” said Mike Crucil, CEO of F&M Installations Ltd. “It’s good to see the government recognizes the necessity of supporting VIU and the trades training programs.”

Nearly one million job openings are expected in B.C. over the next decade, and eight out of 10 of these openings will require post-secondary education. In-demand occupations requiring post-secondary education or training range from professional to management to trades careers in a range of sectors, including technology, resource and health care.

“The room for advancement is the really nice thing about this trade,” said Elaine Zaplotinsky, a VIU power engineering student. “It’s definitely a growing field in B.C. And with the program at VIU, our work experience is on the island, which is more likely to lead to potential job opportunities on the island. This means we can stay in our communities while still pursuing a great career in a growing field.”

Learn More:

B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint: workbc.ca/Training-Education/B-C-s-Skills-for-Jobs-Blueprint/Learn-about-Blueprint.aspx

BC Jobs Plan: engage.gov.bc.ca/bcjobsplan



Sarah Newton, Government Communications and Public Engagement, Ministry of Advanced Education, 250 213-1703

Janina Stajic, Communications and Public Engagement, Vancouver Island University, 250 618-2360

Tags: Announcements

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