Skilled trades students in the Okanagan-Skaha School District will benefit from an investment by the B.C. government for new equipment.
School District 67 is receiving $290,908 over the next three years for the purchase of equipment including laser cutters, routers and air compressors.
“Making investments in school trades equipment in the South Okanagan and throughout B.C. is essential to give students the tools necessary to make a successful transition to apprenticeships and a career in the trades. Young people represent our future and we want to prepare them for the family-supporting jobs to come,” said Penticton MLA Dan Ashton.
B.C. is expecting up to one million job openings by 2025 due to retirements and economic growth. Eight of every 10 of these job openings will require post-secondary education or trades training.
“Trades careers are a great option for youth who are passionate about making a difference in the everyday lives of British Columbians. Investments in youth trades training like this one are important to ensure our students are provided with opportunities to explore different trades careers to find the one that best suits their interests,” said Gary Herman, CEO, Industry Training Authority.
The Youth Trades Capital Equipment Program will see $7.5 million dispersed throughout the province during the current school year. The remaining $7.5 million will be distributed in 2017-18 ($4 million) and 2018-19 ($3.5 million).
Fifty-nine B.C. school districts, 42 of which are in rural B.C., are receiving the $15 million over the course of three years for youth trades capital funding.