Kamloops -The B.C. government has confirmed it will invest $6.3 million to expand trades programs at NorKam Secondary, Education Minister Don McRae and Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training Minister and Minister Responsible for Labour, Pat Bell, and Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Terry Lake announced today.
The funds will be used to develop a new NorKam Secondary Trades and Technology Centre of Excellence at a total cost of $7.4 million. The Ministry of Education is investing $4.6 million in the project. As part of government's Skills and Training Plan, the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training is providing an additional $1.7 million. The remaining $1.1 million will be provided by the Kamloops - Thompson Board of Education. The formal confirmation of the Province's funding contribution allows the finalization and signing of a project agreement to proceed.
Through the Skills and Training Plan, the B.C. government is committed to accelerating student transition to the workforce by exposing students to technical trades and skills and by expanding opportunities for students to begin apprenticeships before graduation and earn graduation credits.
The trades and technology centre will provide new skills training programs in the following areas:
- Mining exploration, development and production
- Entry-level industrial skills
- Construction trades training
- Refrigeration and air conditioning
- Civil engineering technology
The centre will include four skilled trades training shops with specialized equipment and two lecture areas. The centre will increase the trades training capacity of the school by approximately 100 students and significantly enhance the school's existing skills training facilities and programs.
The skills training programs offered by the NorKam Trades and Technology Centre will also complement apprenticeship and skills training programs available to Kamloops high school students through Thompson Rivers University. Students from all eleven secondary schools in the district will be able to attend training programs offered at the centre.
Don McRae, Minister of Education -
"This new centre will enable more high school students in the Kamloops area to start their training for trades and technology careers in a bright, modern, well-equipped learning environment. It will offer students new career options, keep more kids in school and ensure they have access to well-paying, skilled trades and technology jobs."
Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour -
"Our government is committed to ensuring British Columbians have the skills necessary to be successful in today's labour market. Our skills and training plan has outlined a commitment to expand apprenticeship training in the kindergarten-Grade 12 sector, and this facility will increase capacity to offer trades training in Kamloops and enable more youth to begin apprenticeship training before leaving high school, getting a leg up on their trades' careers."
Terry Lake, MLA, Kamloops - North Thompson -
"This investment is about providing more opportunities for skilled trades and also about attracting students to the beautiful North Shore."
Denise Harper, chair, Kamloops - Thompson Board of Education -
"The board of education is pleased that the renovations to the North Kamloops Secondary campus will allow the district to offer our students the chance to experience various careers in trades and technology. We hope that through the opportunity to pursue an interest in the trades, our students will graduate with clear career goals."
- The NorKam Secondary Trades and Technology Centre of Excellence is expected to open in 2014.
- The new trades and technology centre builds upon the school's existing skills training areas, which include: woodworking, metal, electronics, and automotive shops, as well as drafting, graphics, photo, computer and media labs.
- The B.C. government is currently working to upgrade, replace and build a total of 60 schools throughout B.C. over the next four years. The total cost of these projects is approximately $1.5 billion.
- Since 2001, the B.C. government has spent more than $2.1 billion to complete 93 new and replacement schools, 150 additions, 27 renovations and 22 site acquisitions.
BC Jobs Plan: http://www.bcjobsplan.ca/
BC Skills and Training Plan: http://www.bcjobsplan.ca/skills-and-training-plan/
BC's Education Plan: WWW.BCEDPLAN.CA
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Education