Student Jenny Albrecht gives Advanced Education Minister John Yap and Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA Ida Chong a quick lesson in welding at Camosun College on Thursday.

Student Jenny Albrecht gives Advanced Education Minister John Yap and Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA Ida Chong a quick lesson in welding at Camosun College on Thursday.

Province funds $30M trades centre for Camosun

After 40 years of hard use, Camosun College’s trades training facilities will get a needed facelift and two new buildings

After 40 years of hard use, Camosun College’s trades facilities will get a needed facelift and two new buildings from a $29.2 million provincial government grant.

Advanced Education Minister John Yap announced the funding on Thursday in the welding hall at Camosun’s Interurban campus. Yap and fellow B.C. Liberal cabinet minister Ida Chong then had a quick, hands-on welding lesson.

“Students need to get the latest updated skills and training in demand today and in demand tomorrow,” Yap told a few hundred assembled students and staff.

“Camosun is the largest trades training facility on Vancouver Island. We want to make sure the facilities that are needed here are in the southern Vancouver Island.”

Seaspan’s $8-billion federal shipbuilding contract is playing a role in the push to develop more skilled workers in marine and metal trades, but the province also faces a looming skilled labour shortage.

“A highly trained workforce is the backbone of our economy,” said Camosun College president Kathryn Laurin. “We need to increase the number of people in college to get folks the right skill sets and into the workforce.”

Overall, the project will give Camosun Interurban 200,000 square feet of trades training space. A new 45,000 square foot building will house marine and metal trades, and a 35,000 square foot building will house heavy-duty and automotive mechanical trades. Existing buildings, built in the 1960s, will be retrofitted and refurbished.

The added space will allow about 370 more full times trades student per year, added to 2,200 now across 20 different fields.

Tom Roemer, Camosun vice-president of strategic development, said the college is fortunate to have land available – the new trades centre will go in place of Tillicum Lodge, a condemned building that has sat unused for decades.

Camosun will chip in $800,000 to the project and plans to issue tenders for design immediately. Roemer expects the buildings to open in late 2015, which should dovetail with the ramp-up of federal shipbuilding, but noted that marine and aerospace companies, such as Seaspan and Viking Air, need people now.

Malcolm Barker, vice-president of Seaspan Victoria Shipyards, said the shipyard has two major long-term contracts, overhauling navy submarines and frigates, even before taking on federal fleet replacement. The shipyards employ 116 apprentices from Camosun, and has a 1,000 workers on job.

“This recognizes that shipbuilding is important in B.C.,” Barker said, referring to the new trades training facilities. “The province is saying the industry has a future. It’s a telling point for us, and we need an educated workforce.”

editor@saanichnews.com

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Carolyn Howe, a kindergarten teacher and vice president of the Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association, says educators are feeling the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic and the influx of pressure that comes with it. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Stress leave, tears and insomnia: Greater Victoria teachers feel the strain of COVID-19

One year in, teachers still adjusting to mask and cleaning rules, pressure from families

A wind warning is in effect for Greater Victoria Thursday afternoon. (Black Press Media file photo)
Strong winds predicted for Greater Victoria

Environment Canada issues warning for Thursday afternoon

Various Victoria locations were hit with a slew of anti-bylaw graffiti Wednesday. This image has been altered to cover up profane language. (Submitted photo)
UPDATED: Slew of anti-bylaw graffiti an ‘unacceptable’ form of communication says Victoria mayor, police

Downtown businesses, bylaw office and Ministry of Finance vandalized Wednesday morning

Sooke Road will be down to a single lane Thursday night while crews work on a water main connection. (Pixabay stock image)
Sooke Road down to single lane for water main connection

Night work scheduled for Thursday, early Friday morning

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media File Photo)
POLL: Are you struggling with Greater Victoria’s cost of housing?

While Victoria remains one of the most expensive cities in the country… Continue reading

The Port of Nanaimo has signed a 50-year-agreement with DP World around short-sea shipping operations at Duke Point Terminal. (News Bulletin file photo)
Lease ‘important first step’ in $105-million Nanaimo port expansion project

Port of Nanaimo and DP World sign 50-year shipping operations agreement for Duke Point

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

When his owner had knee surgery, Kevin, 2, was able to continue to go for walks thanks to volunteers from Elder Dog Canada. (Contributed photo)
B.C. woman has nothing but praise for Elder Dog Canada

National organization has a fleet of volunteer walkers ready, but needs more clients to serve

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

A Nanaimo RCMP vehicle in the Woodgrove Centre parking lot. (News Bulletin file photo)
Woman groped by stranger in mall parking lot in Nanaimo

Incident happened near bus loop Saturday, Feb. 20, at about 4:45 p.m.

Most Read