For Immediate Release
May 4, 2012
Office of the Premier
Premier Announces Funding for Forestry and Mining Training
WILLIAMS LAKE – Premier Christy Clark today announced $1.6 million for skills training programs at Thompson Rivers University, while visiting the Williams Lake campus.
“Our government is proud to support students in the trades by investing in classroom skills training that is in high demand in the Cariboo,” said Premier Clark. “Having access to training programs like the ones offered at Thompson Rivers University is the first step towards helping meet the continued demand for skilled workers in priority industries like mining and forestry.”
Training will run with the collaborative efforts of the Interior Logging Association and regional contractors and licensees in Williams Lake, Kamloops and Clearwater. Programs will include:
· Entry level logging truck driver training with ‘behind the wheel’ experience;
· Heavy equipment operator training for the forest harvesting sector on an actual logging production site;
· Heavy equipment operator training for the mining, road building and construction sector, developing skills on eight different pieces of equipment.
“This announcement today shows our commitment to trades training and our intention to continue working together –industry, employers, government and our training and academic counterparts – to ensure that training plans line up with regional needs,” said Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation. “There are a multitude of opportunities for men and women in the trades in B.C., and with investments made in the BC Jobs Plan the prospects for exciting and lucrative careers in the trades will only continue to grow.”
A total of 80 students will be enrolled in this Employment Skills Access (ESA) initiative with truck driver classes beginning in May
“Thompson Rivers University is pleased to support our community and local industry by offering training programs that addresses the increasing need for a skilled workforce,” said Christopher Seguin, vice president of University Advancement, Thompson Rivers University. “The region is experiencing growth in the resource sector giving B.C. residents the opportunity to have well paying, meaningful work while remaining in their communities. TRU looks forward to partnering with industry and the provincial government on this significant training initiative.”
Employment Skills Access provides eligible participants with tuition-free, group-based training at public post-secondary institutions throughout the province in order to prepare them for entry or re-entry into the labour market. Participants must be Labour Market Agreement eligible – meaning they are unemployed, non-EI individuals, or are employed, low-skilled workers. ESA is funded through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Agreement.
"TRU is an educational key stone of the Cariboo region. This funding will help expand forestry in our region and build on existing trade advances,” said Donna Barnett, MLA for Cariboo-Chilcotin. “I'm thrilled our government is able to support the university in such a fashion."
"TRU is positioning itself to prepare British Columbians for the coming job market,” said Terry Lake, MLA for Kamloops-North Thompson. “The forest and mining sector will face a serious need for skilled labour, and people looking for a good, well-paying career would be well advised to consider these programs at TRU."
"Anyone wondering what career path to follow should consider that the number of apprentices in these programs has doubled in just eight years,” said Kevin Krueger, MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson. “This is where the jobs are, and this is where the jobs of the foreseeable future will be."
Over the next decade, British Columbia is projected to have over one million job openings. The BC Jobs Plan will ensure the over $500 million provided annually for labour market and training programs is targeted to meeting regional and industry labour market needs.
Senior Communications Coordinator
Office of the Premier
Government Communications & Public Engagement
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation
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