Clark: Training will have British Columbians first in line for jobs

Okanagan College’s new and expanded trades complex will launch thousands of bright futures.

Christy Clark

I often think about students today, and the world they’re graduating into. It’s going to look a lot different than the world I graduated into.

Consider this: By 2025, there’s going to be nearly a million job openings in B.C. alone. The year 2025 sounds impossibly far away, but it’s just nine years from now. In other words, if you have kids entering third grade, that’s the year they’ll finish high school.

Nearly eight out of 10 of those one million jobs will need some kind of post-secondary education or training. That’s 800,000 jobs we want British Columbia kids to be first in line for — which means they’ll need training.

To make sure they’re ready, we’re investing in new training facilities at post-secondary institutions across B.C., starting with the $35-million Okanagan Trades Renewal project, which opened mid-September.

The project involved building a new 6,237 square metre expansion to the existing trades complex, along with a comprehensive renovation of the 4,385 square metre existing facility, which opened in the 1960s. And in addition to updated facilities for a number of foundation certificate programs, diploma programs and apprenticeship programs, the renovations also included retrofitting the mechanical and energy systems to reduce their energy footprint, and allow the facility to become energy neutral.

It’s a modern learning space in every sense of the word.

This was a good investment, because over the last 10 years, demand for trades training programs at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus has more than doubled.

The renovated and expanded facility means 2,400 more graduates every year, ready for good-paying, in-demand careers as electricians, automotive technicians, welders, plumbers, and more.

Okanagan College isn’t alone. The provincial government is investing $185 million through our Skills for Jobs Blueprint for capital projects and equipment to support trades and skills training throughout B.C. We’re able to make this kind of investment without going into deficit, because of our strong, growing economy. In economic growth, job creation, employment — and the country’s largest budget surplus — right now, we’re leading Canada.

We’re in this position because we’ve controlled government spending, and stuck to our plan to grow the economy and the middle class — not penalize growth with new taxes.

What that means is we’re able to invest in people, and make sure we put British Columbians first.

Okanagan College’s new and expanded trades complex will launch thousands of bright futures.

Now that’s an investment that will pay dividends for generations.

Just Posted

Budget 2018: Kelowna to look at monitoring downtown security cameras 24 hours per day

Potential $30,000 budget item will be discussed further over objections of the mayor

Stalled work on Kelowna’s Rutland Centennial Park to get another look

During budget deliberations, mayor calls for further improvements to park to be discussed by council

UPDATE: Kelowna quarry fire deemed suspicious

A vehicle in a Stewart Road quarry burned Thursday morning.

Kelowna city council spends big on Glenmore fire hall

2018 budget: Upgrade of Glemore fire hall to include 12 full-time firefighters

Accident in Lake Country

Thursday morning commute slow on Highway 97 following MVI

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

Province rejects Ajax mine in Kamloops

KGHM Ajax had proposed a 1,700-hectare open-pit copper and gold mine, just southwest of Kamloops

Border officers rally at B.C.’s Peace Arch

CBSA employees tire of ‘lack of respect’

FCC votes along party lines to end ‘net neutrality’

Move rolls back restrictions that keep big providers from blocking services they don’t like

Performance embodies true meaning of Christmas

Caravan Farm Theatre presents O. Henry’s The Gift of the Magi by Maristella Roca until Dec. 31

Family of Vancouver Island RCMP officer killed by drunk driver sues

Lawsuit seeks financial compensation from Kenneth Jacob Fenton

SPCA seizes 74 animals from Barriere property

Constables removed sheep, piglets, chickens and more

Penticton addiction recovery centre plan halted by neighbours

Recovery centre operator said neighbours bought property ‘in haste’

Reservations to be needed year-round at Garibaldi Park

Change will go into effect Jan. 2 to protest environment from overuse

Most Read