VANCOUVER—The British Columbia government has announced an investment of $401,000 for the Roofing Contractors Association of B.C. (RCABC) that will go towards skills training in high-priority trades seats.
"The B.C. government is aligning education and training with in-demand occupations," said Rich Coleman, MLA for Fort Langley-Aldergrove, in a statement. "Trades training investments like this are essential to maintaining the economic upswing in the Fraser Valley and throughout B.C."
The investment, through the Industry Training Authority (ITA), will fund 320 seats in the roofer, architectural sheet metal and residential steep roofer programs through to March 31, 2017.
The funding is part of the ITA's allocation to B.C. post-secondary institutions and training providers to run various training programs throughout the province.
"The RCABC has been training apprentices for the province's roofing industry for more than 20 years and its services are needed now more than ever," said Mary Polak, MLA for Langley. "B.C. can expect to see almost 1 million more jobs by 2025 and we want our young people to be ready for them."
Bryan Wallner, CEO, RCABC said the funding is important to train the next generation of workers.
"The Roofing Contractors Association of B.C. has had a relationship with the provincial government for more than 20 years, delivering technical training to literally thousands of workers in our industry," said Wallner. "Like many trades, we are focused on attracting, training and retaining workers in our industry. This funding is critical to that effort and to ensuring that we are able to meet the projected construction growth in the province with trained, qualified workers."
In response to the objectives outlined in B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and the McDonald Report, the B.C. government has worked in partnership with the ITA to begin building a demand-driven trades training system with funding aligned to specific in-demand trades.
The provincial government invests more than $94 million annually in industry training through the ITA. The ITA leads and co-ordinates British Columbia's skilled trades system by working with employers, employees, industry, labour, training providers and government to issue credentials, manage apprenticeships, set program standards and increase opportunities in the trades.