B.C. expanding mass-timber skills training at BCIT

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CaDCR staff writer

The province of British Columbia is expanding training opportunities for the mass timber sector at the BC Institute of Technology (BCIT).

“As the largest provider of trades training in Western Canada, BCIT continues to lead delivery of industry-relevant education where it’s most needed,” said Wayne Hand, dean, BCIT’s school of construction and the environment. “This investment from the Province of B.C. will empower trades professionals to upskill in the growing area of mass timber – filling a vital workforce gap.”

As part of the StrongerBC: Future Ready Action Plan, BCIT will receive $3.3 million to create a mass-timber training hub, providing expanded opportunities for people to gain new skills in the sector. Two new mass-timber courses are expected to be piloted in the fall to complement BCIT’s existing training. Once construction is complete on the new state-of-the-art trades and technology complex for the Burnaby campus, all mass-timber training courses will be housed there.

“For nearly 60 years, BCIT has been delivering flexible, relevant education that prepares learners to provide applied solutions to industry challenges,” said Jeff Zabudsky, president, BCIT. “Today’s funding announcement in support of mass-timber training is a prime example of how BCIT, government and industry continue to collaborate to identify areas of need, and quickly build talent to support in-demand jobs across the province.

“Together, we are advancing the mass-timber sector to the benefit of students, employers, our economy and our climate future.”

The expanded mass-timber training programs will increase accessibility for professionals to be job ready, fill the current knowledge gaps in the industry and combat the skilled worker challenge in the sector.

Mass timber is a sustainable building material that is engineered through fastening multiple layers of smaller dimension wood together with glue, dowels or nails to create solid, structural load-bearing components, such as columns, beams and panels.

“Investing in more training opportunities for people is a key component of our StrongerBC: Future Ready Action Plan,” said Andrew Mercier, minister of state for workforce development. “Together with BCIT, we are ensuring people have the skills they need to meet the growing demand for skilled workers in rewarding careers like mass-timber installation.”

For information about StrongerBC: Future Ready Action Plan, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/jobs-and-training

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