UFV benefits from new trades training equipment

Chilliwack trades program campus to get new equipment for in-demand programs

Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson (right) visited the University of the Fraser Valley last Friday to announce new funding for trades program equipment.

Students enrolling in trades training at the University of the Fraser Valley will benefit from a funding boost announced last Friday.

The school is receiving $325,274 from the province, which they’ll use to purchase new trades training equipment for several in-demand programs.

New trades training equipment includes a steam cleaner, HVAC recovery program, and drill press for heavy duty mechanic trades students; a

saw for carpentry students; a power threading machine for plumbing students; and new-technology welding machines for welding students.

Government based funding for new equipment came from consultations with educational institutions and the Industry Training Authority, as well

as the most-recent labour-market data.

Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson visited UFV’s Chilliwack campus on Friday, meeting with faculty and students of programs to receive the upgrades.

“Our investment means that University of the Fraser Valley trades students will continue to get hands-on experience to develop skills needed by employers,” he said. “A skilled workforce is critical to our economy.”

It’s the second boost received recently by the growing trades school. Last July, funding was added to allow for 194 seats in trades programs. The added seats have reduced wait periods significantly.

UFV president Mark Evered said the new equipment will help keep students up to date in their future professions.

“This funding builds on the University of the Fraser Valley’s capacity to produce top professionals for a variety of trades,” he said. “We’re proud to help shape the future, both regionally and beyond.”

The trades training equipment funding for 2014-15 is part of a B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint commitment of $185 million over three years for trades training infrastructure and equipment at public post-secondary institutions. And the funding is timely, as there are expected to be one million job openings in B.C. by 2022. More than 78 per cent of jobs will require some form of post-secondary education, and 44 per cent of jobs will be in skilled trades and technical occupations.

“We want British Columbians to be first in line for the million job openings expected in the coming years,” said Chilliwack MLA John Martin. “New trades equipment for the University of the Fraser Valley will give more students the chance to get the skills they need to succeed.”