Prince Rupert’s Northwest Community College campus will be the northwest beneficiary of $1.8 million government investment in trades training for post secondary institutions across B.C.
Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk made the announcement in Terrace on Oct. 30 as part of a provincial plan to address needed trades training, and NWCC will be receiving $130,560 of the tota $1.8 millionl to create 16 seats in the electrical program and 16 seats in the millwright program in Prince Rupert. Virk, who called LNG “a generational change that’s going to change the face of British Columbia”, said the money was in part a recognition of the major industrial development proposed for the region.
“Government can’t do it themselves, we need to work with you, we need to work with industry … we want to align government investment with trade institutions,” he said.
The money will be used for trades foundation training that launches student apprenticeships, and Virk stressed the importance of following the trades training through to certification.
“My message to students is work toward that red seal. Do not stop halfway … get that document,” he said.
Representing those in the program, Prince Rupert electrical student Kenny Ree-Hembling welcomed the announcement.
“There are a lot of career opportunities that are going to be coming up in the northwest, and I don’t think there is a better place the money could go,” he said.
“The kids that are going to school can stay close to home and get a good education with a well-funded college like Northwest Community College.”
Michelle Bryant of Ridley Terminals also spoke at the event, saying RTI clearly sees the need to support trades training in the region.
“I looked at the demographics in our company and I was a little bit taken aback at what the average age in our company was… had to look at other ways, how we were going to get qualified, skilled trades people,” she said of the Coastal Pathway Partnership.
“As an industry, we feel these types of partnerships are important investment into our community in order to build the capacity that is needed for the exciting opportunities that are happening here in our region.”