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Funding adds LNG training seats to UFV

John English, dean of UFV
John English, dean of UFV's Trades and Technology Centre, speaks during Thursday's announcement.
— image credit: JENNA HAUCK/ PROGRESS

Wait lists for UFV trades programs will be significantly reduced starting this fall thanks to a funding boost from the provincial government.

Chilliwack MLA John Martin and Chilliwack-Hope MLA Laurie Throness announced Thursday that the University of the Fraser Valley would be granted a total of $872,000 to help reduce wait lists for trades courses critical to the liquified natural gas (LNG) sector and other industries.

Of that, $807,000 will be used to add 194 seats, available to students as early as this September. An additional $65,000 will be used to fund operations and equipment to support delivery of training programs.

The allocation is part of a $6.8 million commitment to create 1,424 foundation and apprenticeship seats at 14 public post-secondary institutions.

“We want British Columbians to be first in line for the million job openings expected in the coming years,” said Martin. “The 194 additional trades training seats at the University of the Fraser Valley will give more students the chance to get the skills they need to succeed.”

The additional seats at UFV include:

• 40 welder foundation seats.
• 16 welder apprenticeship seats.
• 18 carpenter foundation seats.
• 16 carpenter apprenticeship seats.
• 54 electrician foundation seats.
• 32 electrician apprenticeship seats.
• 18 heavy duty equipment mechanic foundation seats.

“Injecting $872,000 into our faculty of applied and technical studies builds on the University of the Fraser Valley’s ability to continue producing top professionals for a variety of trades,” said Jackie Hogan, UFV chief financial officer and vice-president.

“We’re proud to increase our role in shaping the future, both locally and beyond.”

The funding announcement is part of B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint, a comprehensive action plan to reengineer education and training to help B.C. students obtain necessary skills for employment opportunities in the growing economy.

A million job openings are estimated for B.C. by 2022, with approximately 43 per cent requiring post-secondary education or apprenticeship training.

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