Students such as Regina Gray in NIC’s apprenticeship programs play an important role in filling demand for skilled tradespeople in the construction of new Campbell River and Comox Valley hospitals. Gray graduated from the Lather program this fall and is now working on the hospital site.

Many working on hospitals projects come from NIC

The North Island Hospitals Project (NIHP) is sparking demand for the skilled trades on Vancouver Island and providing North Island College (NIC) students with new trades and technology careers, according to a recent release from NIC.

Regina Gray, for example, is currently working at the NIHP site after graduating from the lather program earlier this fall.

With two hospitals under construction in Campbell River and the Comox Valley, the demand for local, skilled tradespeople is increasing.

North Island Hospitals Project Communications Officer Dan MacLennan says 594 people, including 410 tradespeople from Campbell River, Comox, Cumberland or Courtenay were employed on the project in October. This included 122 apprentices working in plumbing/mechanical, carpentry, electrical, roofing or wall and ceiling trades.

As the need for trained workers increases, NIC’s Dean of Trades and Technical Programs, Cheryl O’ Connell, points to Industry Training Authority (ITA) Apprenticeship Advisor, Doug Podetz as a key resource in ensuring NIC programs align with regional training requirements. Podetz works closely with the hospitals’ project and industry leaders to connect local, qualified individuals with jobs.

“Doug has been instrumental in supporting the advancement of NIC trades and technology programs,” O’ Connell says. “With his guidance, we were recently able to launch the only Interprovincial (Red Seal) Lather: Wall and Ceiling program on Vancouver Island.”

The program provides students with an introduction to the trade, which plays an important role in the production of ceilings and walls in commercial, high-rise and residential buildings. It is just one of many NIC foundation and apprenticeship programs available to North Island students, including welding, heavy mechanical, electrical, carpentry and plumbing trades training.

“NIC foundation programs are critical to providing base skills employers are looking for,” Podetz says.

NIHP predicts hospital construction will create an estimated 2,200 direct jobs and more than 1,400 indirect jobs. The project started in July 2014 and is expected to be completed by summer 2017. Peak employment is expected by early summer 2016.

“As the hospital project takes shape, there is a real need for skilled subcontractors,” Podetz says, explaining that he’s been working closely with NIHP Chief Project Officer Tom Sparrow to determine the projects’ employment needs and consulting with NIC to ensure trades training is available to fill gaps. “We are pulling the community together and connecting foundation graduates with industry employers, providing local, qualified people with jobs.“

For information on NIC’s trades and technical programs, or to speak with an educational advisor, visit


Just Posted

Vancouver Island Society for Adaptive Snowsports volunteer recruitment session planned

The Vancouver Island Society for Adaptive Snowsports is a non-profit charitable society… Continue reading

Campbell River Search and Rescue to be called in to search for Kelly McLoed

If you come across a groundsearch team tomorrow, listen to them.

North Island candidates chime in on Indigenous rights

Should we adopt the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People into Canadian law?

Campbell River homicide suspects arrested in Vancouver

Two men remain in custody, but have not been charged

More beef products recalled due to possible E. coli contamination

The food safety watchdog has been investigating possible E. coli 0157:H7

B.C. VIEWS: How to get the best deal on your ICBC car insurance

ICBC slowly being dragged into the 21st century

Pot legalization has gone ‘well’, but ‘yellow flags’ on vaping: task force chair

Canada legalized cannabis for non-medical use on Oct. 17, 2018,

ELECTION 2019: Federal leaders hit final 24 hours of campaign

Many leaders remain in B.C. for the final hours of the campaign

Jack’s Devils beat Quinn’s Canucks 1-0 in NHL brother battle

New Jersey youngster scores first career goal against Vancouver

Two charged after owner’s wild ride through Kamloops in his stolen truck

Crystal Rae Dorrington, 37, and Derrick Ronald Pearson, 32, facing multiple charges

Judge orders credit union’s bank records for Kelowna social worker facing theft allegations

The man is accused of negligence, breach of contract, fraud and a conspiracy with Interior Savings

Leaders pour it on with rallies, boosts for candidates as campaign reaches peak

The federal election campaign has reached a crescendo

Most Read