(The following is a news release from the province of B.C.)
KELOWNA - The government of B.C. is investing more than $867,000 in new skills training equipment at Okanagan College.
The funding is part of a $17-million provincewide Skills and Training Plan investment to support public post-secondary institutions to upgrade equipment and put the latest tools in the hands of B.C. students.
Equipment purchases and replacements at each institution are based upon a review and analysis of existing inventory, current and future program and industry requirements, and current government priorities to provide skills training that is aligned to the needs of the economy in each region.
Institutions will also pursue partnerships with local industries and other stakeholders to purchase or donate equipment, ensuring students continue to train on the latest equipment being used in the workplace.
The type of equipment slated for new purchase or replacement at Okanagan College - unless otherwise donated from industry partners - includes equipment such as an airbrake trainer for the heavy-duty equipment technician program, a metal shear for the welding program, carpentry machinery, and shop pieces for the automotive service technician garage.
"Under the BC Jobs Plan and our Skills and Training Plan, we're taking action to provide education and training opportunities aligned with the needs of our economy,” said John Yap, Minister of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology. “This provincial investment, coupled with contributions from private industry partners, will ensure students are training on the same calibre of equipment their employers will be asking them to work on after graduation."
"Students of the trades perform best when they train with the same type of equipment they will use during their apprenticeships,” said Steve Thomson, MLA for Kelowna-Mission. “This funding will help provide students with opportunities for hands-on experience, which is necessary to succeed after graduation."
"Continued investment in equipment is vital to ensuring that Okanagan College students and apprentices are afforded the best quality training,” said Jim Hamilton, president of Okanagan College. “They need to be prepared for the workplace with knowledge and experience of the latest technology."
- The B.C. government recently announced $342,872 for foundation skills seats at Okanagan College campuses.
- In September 2012, the B.C.government announced it is providing $28 million to Okanagan College for an extensive renewal of the trades training complex at the Kelowna campus.
- In August 2012, the government announced over $570,000 in capital funding to go towards improving and upgrading facilities at Okanagan College.
- Okanagan College received more than $550,000 in one-time funding announced in April 2012 to offer skilled trades-related training in the region. The college expects to create 110 seats over the coming year, including training in mining, oil and gas related supervision and safety, and green building design, among others.
Read more about the B.C. Skills and Training Plan.