The provincial government announced another batch of funding for North Island College at the Vancouver Island Economic Summit in Nanaimo last week, which will see 744 trades seats funded at the school through March, 2017.
The $2.7-million allocation comes through the Industry Training Authority (ITA), which invests more than $94 million annually in trades training throughout the province.
“There is growing interest in trade careers across the province and the investment announced today will ensure British Columbians have the opportunity to access training in high-priority trades so that they are equipped with the right skills to respond to the job opportunities to come,” said Gary Herman of the Industry Training Authority at the announcement last week.
Those high-priority areas – and therefore the seats being funded at NIC – include electrical, welding, carpentry, plumbing and cooking.
“This funding provides opportunities for North Island students to develop practical skills and knowledge in more than 20 different trades and technology programs across the region,” said NIC president John Bowman. “NIC is proud to support North Island students and their communities with industry-relevant trades training close to home.”
This latest batch of funding comes on the heels of a recent $561,000 investment in trades training equipment for the institution, including a new metal shear, welding system and two new refrigeration trucks for the Campbell River campus.
When that funding came to the school, Comox Valley MLA Don McRae said it is important to fund smaller schools and campuses in more rural settings like Campbell River because, “going to school can be expensive, so if we can train people close to home for jobs that can hopefully be close to home, it gives you opportunities to stay in your communities, raise families and have a great quality of life.”