VICTORIA - The B.C. government is investing $29.2 million to renew trades facilities at Camosun College - a key part of B.C.'s new Skills and Training Plan.
The renovation and expansion of Camosun's Interurban facilities will ensure future heavy-duty mechanics, shipbuilders and other skilled workers will be able to get the training they need on southern Vancouver Island.
The existing facilities will be retrofitted and refurbished to modernize and better utilize the space. A new 4,180 square-metre (45,000-square-foot) building will be added to accommodate the marine and metal trades, while a new 3,252 square-metre (35,000-square-foot) building will be added for the mechanical trades, such as heavy-duty and automotive mechanical trades. This renewal will accommodate an additional 370 new, full-time equivalent students in the trades training program.
The project responds to a growing demand at Camosun College. Trades-related training at Camosun has increased by almost 40 per cent in the last decade and the college has reconfigured shop bays and built temporary outbuildings to accommodate expanding programs and increasing enrolments. The renewal and expansion of the facilities will address waitlists and provide the facilities to introduce new trades programs to serve marine, resource and green economy sectors.
Camosun trades students go on to become automotive service technicians, carpenters, electricians, furniture makers, heavy-duty mechanics, horticulture technicians, ship-builders, plumbers and pipe fitters, professional cooks, metal fabricators, welders and more. Alumni are currently working in B.C. and around the globe for companies that include BC Hydro, Don Mann Excavating, Department of National Defence, Viking Air and Seaspan Victoria Shipyards.
Built in the 1960s, Camosun College's existing trades facilities are primarily located on the Interurban Campus in Saanich. The new buildings will be constructed where the existing Tillicum Lodge is located and will meet British Columbia's Wood First policy and LEED gold certification requirement.
Total cost of the project is estimated at $30 million, with Camosun College providing the additional $800,000. Construction will begin immediately, with a projected completion date of spring 2016.
B.C. taxpayers are providing over $52 million for Camosun's operations this year - including an allowance for general infrastructure maintenance - up from $37 million in 2001-02. The number of funded student spaces at the college has increased 10 per cent since 2003-04.
Counting today's announcement, over $45 million in capital investments have been made at Camosun College since 2005, including construction of the Pacific Sport Institution at the Interurban Campus and the current work underway to renew and restore the Young Building at the Lansdowne campus.
This summer, government announced $1.3 million in capital funding to upgrade and launch a renewal and restoration process for the Young Building, which began life as Victoria Normal School in 1915.
John Yap, Minister of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology -
"Having the right mix of skilled workers, in the right regions at the right time is crucial for the future of our communities and economy.
Under the BC Jobs Plan, and as part of our recently announced Skills and Training Plan, we want to encourage more and more young people to consider careers in the trades. With every investment in facilities, equipment and programs, we're sending an important message: choosing a trade is a very smart choice, offering a secure, rewarding and respected career."
Ida Chong, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation and MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head -
"Today's exciting announcement is part of our plan for the future of Camosun College, our community and region, and our province."
"As part of B.C.'s Skills and Training Plan, we're making this investment so we can provide more students with high-quality technical training to fill in-demand jobs."
Kathryn Laurin, president, Camosun College -
"Camosun's concept is to become a BC Centre of Excellence in Trades Training, with a state-of-the-art program that supports our province in becoming a national leader in the delivery of quality learning and the accomplishments of our graduates."
"We see an innovative blending that links our leading-edge Trades programs with our Applied Research area to truly meet and even exceed the expectations of local industry...making Camosun and B.C. a trades powerhouse."
Malcolm Barker, Vice-president and General Manager, Seaspan Victoria Shipyards -
"Today's announcement is extremely exciting for Victoria Shipyards. We look forward to working with Camosun College in its new trade facilities and providing education to our next generation of shipbuilders."
- Camosun College is a public post-secondary college offering over 160 programs, including university transfer and applied degree programs, career and trades training, upgrading and preparatory programs, and continuing education.
- More than 2,200 students take trades and apprenticeship training programs at Camosun every year.
- Camosun offers apprenticeship training for 20 distinct trades, including nine trades with the Interprovincial Red Seal Endorsement. Over 400 students are enrolled in Camosun's Trades Foundation program each year. Camosun's two campuses serve approximately 12,500 learners registered in degree, diploma and certificate programs and a further 7,400 registrants in courses offered through its continuing education department.
Trades and Apprenticeship training at Camosun College: http://camosun.ca/learn/programs/trades-apprenticeship/
B.C. Ministry of Advanced Education: http://www.gov.bc.ca/aved/index.html
BC's Jobs Plan and Skills and Training Plan: www.bcjobsplan.ca
Ministry of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology