Trades students get funding boost

Okanagan students who want to learn a trade are getting a helping hand with more than $367,000 in one-time funding for 88 foundation seats

Students in the Okanagan who want to learn a trade are getting a helping hand with more than $367,000 in one-time funding for 88 foundation seats in targeted trades training courses during 2013-14.

The funding for Okanagan College will support student spaces in plumbing and piping, and in electrical and metal fabrication programs at the college’s Kelowna campus.

“The province’s welcome investment in additional trades capacity helps us answer student and industry demand in these program areas,” said Okanagan College president Jim Hamilton. “It’s vital that we keep working to address this increased demand for skilled workers.”

Foundation training programs provide students with the basic knowledge and skills needed for entry into a particular occupation.

Students receive credit for the first-level apprenticeship training in a specific field by the Industry Training Authority once they have successfully completed the foundation program.

“This investment in targeted trades foundation seats at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus underlines our government’s commitment to encourage youth in the Okanagan to view trades training as a positive pathway to a great career,” said Steve Thomson, MLA for Kelowna-Mission.

The funding is part of an overall $1.8 million for 456 student spaces in 2013-14 at 10 public post-secondary institutions throughout British Columbia and is over and above the funding that public post-secondary institutions will receive from the ITA in 2013-14 for foundation spaces.