Province helps equip students for success with new tech, trades tools

STUDENTS throughout B.C. will gain the hands-on skills they need, thanks to new technology and trades equipment upgrades at 20 post-secondary institutions.

“Investing in students is an important part of building a stronger B.C.,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training, on Wednesday. “Students across the province will have the opportunity to learn the latest techniques with state-of-the-art technology and equipment, preparing them for their future careers.”

Public post-secondary institutions can replace obsolete equipment and acquire up-to-date technology. Each institution is receiving as much as $150,000 to buy equipment for trades and technology programs, with government funding totalling $3 million. Institutions selected equipment to fit the programs they offer, from air compressors for welding, robotics kits for engineering and studio camera kits for animation, to dough sheeters and mixers for pastry arts.

“To prepare for tomorrow’s workforce, students need access to the best equipment available today,” said Andrew Mercier, Parliamentary Secretary for Skills Training. “Hands-on training helps students build the skills employers need and sets them up for success on the job from Day 1.”

Tech and trades jobs are in high demand in British Columbia. According to the 2019 Labour Market Outlook, 75,000 tech-related job openings, such as computer programmers, engineers and software designers, are expected in the 10-year period from 2019-29.

In the trades, approximately 73,000 job openings are expected during the same time in occupations such as millwrighting, carpentry, construction and heavy-duty machinery.

Quick Facts

* November 2021 is Apprenticeship Recognition Month in B.C. The Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training and the Industry Training Authority (ITA) will highlight the roles apprentices play in building a stronger B.C, as well as opportunities for people to start a career in the skilled trades.

* B.C. invests $99 million a year in trades education through the ITA.

* The ITA manages more than 100 trades programs in B.C., 49 of which are Red Seal programs.

* The ITA expects to fund more than 27,000 apprenticeship and foundation training seats this year at public and private institutions.

* In 2021-22, the Province is funding more than 2,600 student spaces in tech programs at post-secondary institutions throughout B.C. This is toward a total of 2,900 tech spaces by 2023 to improve access to training and education, while supporting the sector with more home-grown talent.

Learn More:

For a backgrounder with a list of institutions receiving new technology and trades equipment, visit: