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

Vancouver artist rocks to fight opioid crisis

Jeremy Allingham is set to bring his guitar-focused rock ‘n roll to Kelowna April 6, Vernon June 9

World Down Syndrome Day: The up side of Down

A Kelowna family’s journey with Down Syndrome: ‘There is tremendous beauty in these kids’

Kelowna cops crack down on drivers using cell phones

Drivers caught talking or texting behind the wheel now face a fine totalling $543

Okanagan Falls winery showing international photo project

Liquidity Wines will be sole Canadian show of National Geographic’s Photo Ark

West Kelowna mayor meets finance minister to protest speculation tax

Doug Findlater presents Carole James with booklet of info outlining tax’s impact on his city

Crook’s Corner

Arts and entertainment highlights this week across the Okanagan

B.C. Scientists witness first-ever documented killer whale infanticide

“It’s horrifying and fascinating at the same time.”

Lawyer for one suspect in beating of man with autism says he’s not guilty

Ronjot Singh Dhami will turn himself in, lawyer said

Liberals awarded $100,000 contract to man at centre of Facebook data controversy

Christopher Wylie says his voter-profiling company collected private information from 50 million Facebook users

Facebook’s Zuckerberg admits mistakes in privacy scandal

Zuckerberg admits to privacy scandal involving a Trump-connected data-mining firm, but no apology

Rockets’ Foote a finalist for top WHL D-man

Cal Foote named the Western Conference top defenseman; Foote and Dube named all-stars

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

UPDATE: Former B.C. city councillor sentenced nine months for sexual assault

Dave Murray, convicted this past fall, hired a private investigator to intrude on the victim’s life.

Shots fired in Kamloops

Kamloops RCMP are investigating a report of shots fired and a possible explosion at a trailer court

Most Read