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B.C. government invests $15 million for trades equipment in schools

B.C. government invests $15 million for trades equipment in schools

November 1, 2016

Skilled trades students in British Columbia secondary schools will be the beneficiaries of a $15-million investment for trades equipment in support of youth trades programs.

Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour, announced the program today as she proclaimed the second annual Apprenticeship Recognition Week in B.C. at a ceremony at Vancouver Community College, with celebrations happening around the province from Oct. 31 to Nov. 4.

The three-year Youth Trades Capital Program is open to school districts to apply for funds until the first week of January 2017 to strengthen trades programs in their schools.

Some of the requests that will be eligible for funding are:

  • Capital investments for additional new equipment, replacement of older, obsolete existing equipment, or repair of existing equipment
  • Tools (i.e. power, hand, pneumatic, cordless)
  • Heavy machinery (i.e. car hoists, table saws, kitchen equipment)
  • Trades equipment (i.e. work tables, benches, toolbox, stoves, small ware)
  • Ventilation equipment (i.e. woodshop sawdust collector, cooktop ventilation system)

This new funding complements the recent announcement of the newly updated youth trades-training program that will provide B.C. students with the opportunity to discover, explore, train and work in the trades earlier in their school years. These programs map out a clear path for youth to start their trades training earlier in high school, through post-secondary and into the workforce where they can continue an apprenticeship.

Bond also announced that Vancouver Community College will receive over $16,400 for an innovation pilot that will improve training outcomes and employability of apprentices.

Apprenticeship programs are one of the best ways for British Columbians to gain the skills and training they need to succeed in their chosen career. Through this investment into trades equipment as well as the innovation pilot and the newly updated youth trades training programs, the Province continually looks to improve outcomes in the apprenticeship system.

B.C. has reached a tipping point with fewer young people entering the workforce than older workers leaving it. That is why, through B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint, government is re-engineering education and training programs toward a data-driven system ensuring that investment decisions align with the needs of our rapidly changing labour market so that more British Columbians have the skills they need to be first in line for in-demand jobs.


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

“We are expecting almost one million job openings in B.C. by 2025 due to retirements and economic growth. With investments like this, we are giving our future workforce the training and equipment they need to be the best qualified candidates and to be at the front of the line for these opportunities. Apprenticeship Recognition Week is an acknowledgement of the very important contributions made to our province by apprentices and their employers.”

Mike Bernier, Minister of Education –

“B.C. parents are counting on us to make sure our kids have the skills they need to succeed in our changing world. We are making greater investments in trades training opportunities for students in all areas of the province to ensure they are ready for the jobs of tomorrow.”

Gary Herman, CEO, Industry Training Authority –

“As we kick start the second annual Apprenticeship Recognition Week, we are reminded of the pivotal role that youth play in sustaining B.C.’s future economic growth. With more skilled tradespeople retiring from the workforce than entering it, we need to support youth in trades training so they are ready to respond to the increasing demand in the labour market – and it is with investments like this that we are able to do just that.”

Peter Nunoda, president and CEO, Vancouver Community College

“We have long been a proud partner with high schools to provide trades training for youth. It’s great to see youth get a head start on a trade and then to continue at VCC for further training and apprenticeship programs after graduating.”

Quick Facts:

  • ITA provides more than 100 apprenticeship training programs in B.C., including 50 Red Seal trades.
  • There are currently more than 39,000 registered apprentices in the industry training system (including youth) – more than double the 14,676 apprentices registered when ITA was created in 2004.
  • B.C. is expecting up to one million job openings by 2025 due to retirements and economic growth.
  • Eight of every 10 of these job openings will require post-secondary education or trades training.

Learn More:

Industry Training Authority: http://www.itabc.ca/

Industry Training Authority Youth: http://www.itabc.ca/youth/

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

B.C. Labour Market Outlook: www.workbc.ca/Labour-Market-Information/B-C-s-Economy/Reports.aspx

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