BC investing $136.6M in new BCIT complex, support training for new trade jobs

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With B.C. expecting to see thousands of new trades jobs over the next 10 years, the province is investing millions to build a new complex at the B.C. Institute of Technology in Burnaby.

The new funding was announced Thursday as part of Premier John Horgan's presentation of the province's economic plan.

Last week, the province said it expects to see more than one million job opportunities available over the next decade, with 80 per cent of them requiring "some level of post-secondary education or training." 

To help meet that demand, $136.6 million will be invested for a trades and technology complex at BCIT. The province says the complex will include four new buildings and will have space for more than 12,000 full-time and part-time students each year.

"This important investment will facilitate the ongoing transformation of BCIT's Burnaby campus and our ability to help power B.C.'s ongoing pandemic recovery by giving trades and technology learners the skills and credentials they need for today and tomorrow," said BCIT president Kathy Kinloch in a news release.

"This transformation will also provide our incredible faculty and staff with the tools needed to stay in lockstep with industry's current and emerging trends."

Of the 1,004,000 jobs expected in the province, about 63 per cent are expected to replace people who are leaving their roles permanently, like people who are retiring. The remaining 37 per cent are expected to be new positions created from economic growth in the province.

Most of the new jobs are expected to be in health care, social assistance and education. About 111,000 job openings in science and technology are expected as well as the 85,000 jobs in skilled trades.

"Investing in new trades training infrastructure at BCIT is a crucial part of equipping students for the jobs of the future while supporting a clean, innovative economy," Anne Kang, minister of advanced education and skills training, said in a news release.

"The new Trades and Technology Complex will help ensure future students have access to the best tools, instruction and equipment needed to meet the demand for an estimated 85,000 new trades jobs expected over the next 10 years."

The economic plan outlined Thursday also offered a preview of the provincial budget, which will be delivered by Finance Minister Selina Robinson on Feb. 22. Other initiatives in the plan included an accelerated timeline to get high-speed internet to all B.C. communities and the creation of a centre that would promote environmental and social principles for products and services.

"Our government understands that people are the economy and that growing the economy cannot mean leaving people behind," Horgan said.

"Today, B.C. is a national economic leader, and our StrongerBC plan provides a framework to create a low-carbon economy that works for everyone. An economy built for all is an economy built to succeed." 

 

with files from CTV News Vancouver