Trade students at the College of New Caledonia are striking gold this week after receiving a big economic boost from the provincial government.
In total, 4.3 million dollars in funds will be provided to the post-secondary institution for skills in high priority trade seats. The investment from the Industry Training Authority (ITA) will fund 1,712 seats at CNC through to March 31, 2017 in various trades, including welding, carpentry, and heavy mechanical programs.
CNC Dean of Trades & Technology, Frank Rossi, says the funding will make a huge impact.”It allows us to continue to train in key areas and key programs to assist our apprentices, our foundation and also our CTC students, it also assists in the training of our high demand programs.”
Those trades are certainly in high demand says Rossi. Programs such as welding, millwright, and power engineering are filling up fast. “Our heavy duty program has up to two year wait lists so we’re kind of tied with regards to our shop size but this funding will help and assist in that.”
Meanwhile, the Prince George Chamber of Commerce has also announced it will partner up with the ITA in an effort to increase participation in the apprenticeship system and engage industry workers in the community. President of the Chamber, Cindi Pohl, says the aim is to raise awareness for the local trades and benefit new hires, especially for small businesses. “They (small businesses) are the ones that are opening up new businesses and you add two, three four new employees, for one business and it really helps a community like ours,” Pohl said. “We don’t want to lose people to other communities south of here, we like to see people be trained here and stay here.”
The provincial government invests more than 94 million dollars annually in industry training through the ITA.