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Start the year with a new career in the trades

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The British Columbia 2025 Labour Market Outlook ranks a career in trades, transportation and related occupations among the top opportunities in B.C., with approximately 123,000 job openings forecasted over the 10-year outlook period.

Training for a career in the trades is valuable. The 2015 Apprenticeships Student Outcomes Survey indicated that 98% of employed former traditional apprenticeship students are working full-time with a median hourly wage of $31.

Government continues to support in-demand occupations in the trades by aligning investments in education and training through B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint.

Why It Matters

  • More people are retiring from the workforce than younger people are entering it.
  • Because of retirements and economic growth, B.C. is expecting almost one million job openings by 2025.
  • 78% of these job openings will require post-secondary education or training.
  • Approximately 42% of job openings will require college education or apprenticeship training.
  • 36% will require university and/or significant work experience.
  • 18% will require high school and/or occupation-specific training.

Infrastructure And Equipment

Government is investing $185 million in new trades training infrastructure and equipment. Investments recently announced include:

  • The $15-million new heavy-mechanical trades-training facility at the College of New Caledonia Prince George campus (B.C. is providing $6.9 million). Completion is expected in 2018.
  • The $20-million expansion and redevelopment of the Marine, Automotive and Trades Complex at the Vancouver Island University Nanaimo campus (B.C. is providing $9.5 million). Completion is expected in 2018.
  • The $6.21-million new trades-training centre at Okanagan College Vernon campus (B.C. is providing $2.88 million). Completion is expected in 2018.
  • The $18.9-million Silver King Trades Campus renewal project at Selkirk College in Nelson (B.C. is providing $10.34 million). Completion is expected in 2018.
  • The $18.4-million modernization and renewal of the trades-training facilities at Northwest Community College in Terrace (B.C. is providing $11.87 million). Completion is expected in 2018.
  • The $30-million new industrial-training and technology centre at Thompson Rivers University (B.C. is providing $7.03 million). Completion is expected in 2018.
  • The $33-million replacement of the trades-training centre at the Northern Lights College Dawson

Facilities that opened in 2016:Trades students at work collage

  • The $35-million Okanagan College Trades Renewal Project in Kelowna (B.C. provided $28 million). Officially opened in September 2016.
  • The $32-million Centre for Trades Education and Innovation at Camosun College (B.C. provided $29.2 million). Officially opened in February 2016.

Employers throughout British Columbia are looking for skilled workers who have experience using modern equipment currently found on jobsites and in workplaces.

Government has provided more than $27 million to 20 public post-secondary institutions to purchase new industry-standard training equipment since the launch of the Blueprint. Trades-training equipment funding for 2016-17 includes $6.1 million at 15 institutions and supports students entering careers in the natural resource, industrial, marine, construction or hospitality sectors.

B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint is re-engineering education and apprenticeship systems to ensure British Columbians have the skills and training they need to take advantage of the diverse, strong and growing economy. Since the launch of the Blueprint, the Province has targeted $14.6 million to reduce wait lists in high-demand trades, creating 3,730 additional critical-trade seats at 14 public post-secondary institutions.

Students looking to learn more about what trades-training spaces are currently available can use the online trades training seat finder:

The B.C. Access Grant for Labour Market Priorities provides non-repayable grant and loan reduction funding of up to $16,400 for students with financial need to study in-demand trades at eligible public post-secondary institutions. More than 1,850 students have received approximately $8.4 million since announcing the B.C. Access Grant in September 2014.

“With so much opportunity expected in the trades, now is a great time to be entering this in-demand field. Government continues to set students up for success by investing in additional training seats, infrastructure and equipment to help put them on course for a promising career.”

– Andrew Wilkinson, Minister of Advanced Education

“Our investments through B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint are targeted at high-priority trades so we have a skilled workforce for our growing economy and the almost one million job openings anticipated in B.C. by 2025. We are mapping out a clear path to trades careers from early learning, to post-secondary training and apprenticeships leading into well-paying, family-supporting jobs.”

– Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour

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