Cash for trades

Cash came in for more trades training in Fort St. James this week.

Cash came in for more trades training in Fort St. James this week.

The Fort St. James campus of the College of New Caledonia (CNC) was one of 10 post-secondary institutions with will receive a total of $1.8 million in funding for trades training spots.

The $1.8 million is aimed at creating a total of 456 spots in the province for students in 2013-14, and will fund 16 spots for heavy duty mechanics training in Fort St. James specifically.

The institutions were selected after a call for proposals for priority trades programs.

The interest is so high for the Fort St. James program, Campus Supervisor Ann McCormick said there is already a waiting list for the program, which will begin in January of 2014.

“It’s exciting,” she said. She said CNC went to companies in the area and asked whether there were opportunities.

The 16 seats are funded for a 30-week program.

Last year, CNC in Fort offered a millwright program because the mills said there was a shortage.

The campus tries to provide the kind of training local businesses need without saturating the market, said McCormick. She said the community has indicated they may like to see carpentry offered next year.

Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk announced the $1.8 million in trades funding while on a visit to Northwest Community College’s Terrace campus.

“Trades will continue to be a vital component of our economy now and even more so in the future,” said Virk in a release to media on the funding. “In addition to targeting specific trades, the funding also supports the trades discovery program that gives young people an insight into what can be an exciting career and will put a pay cheque in their back pocket.”