Vancouver Island University Announces Skilled Trades Program for Newcomers

August 21, 2023

Newcomers to Canada who want to pursue a career in the trades will get some extra help starting this September, thanks to a new program at Vancouver Island University (VIU).

Called Trades Pathways for Newcomers, the cohort-based bridging program supports newcomers looking for a career in the trades by ensuring they have the skills, knowledge and supports to successfully transition into the educational programs that will get them there.

“There is a significant demand for skilled tradespeople. At the same time, there are not enough people to fill the positions that are available,” said Cameron Frenette, chair of VIU’s Carpentry program.

According to BC’s Labour Market Outlook report, there will be more than 72,000 job openings in the province’s construction industry over the next 10 years.

“With Nanaimo growing in both size and diversity, many newcomers are flowing into the region with either a background in trades or skills that would lend themselves well to working in the trades in Canada,” said Darrell Harvey, VIU’s Trades Pathways Coordinator. “What we’re trying to do is bridge that gap to help newcomers find their way into these trades jobs.”

A trades background is not required to join the program. Content will weave together career and trade-specific English language training along with math and other necessary workplace skills and knowledge. 

Students will shadow different trades programs at VIU, including carpentry, electrical, baking, culinary and others depending on each student’s interests. They will also meet employers to get a sense of what working in different trades is like. Wraparound supports are available for students who decide they want to enter a full trades program at VIU.

One cohort starts in September and a second opens in January. Each will be 15 weeks long, 15 hours per week, with classes taking place in the mornings. Harvey said the schedule was designed to recognize other commitments newcomers may have, such as a full or part-time jobs or childcare duties. The program, which is tuition-free thanks to a $1 million provincial investment, is a collaboration between VIU’s trades programs and the Faculty of Academic and Career Preparation.

VIU is also working closely with community partners such as the Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society, Cowichan Intercultural Society, school districts and WorkBC to ensure newcomers know about this support.

“There’s a world of rewarding career opportunities for people in skilled trades right now,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills. “Programs like this offer people the education and training they need to pursue these jobs, while helping industry and employers to access the skilled workforce they need.”

Applications are now being accepted for the September intake and those who are interested or would like more information can contact Harvey directly at Darrell.Harvey@viu.ca. For more information, visit the Pathways program homepage.

Source

Related Articles


Latest Articles

  • Shore-Side Electricity and Data Monitoring Take Hold in the Cruise Industry

    Shore-Side Electricity and Data Monitoring Take Hold in the Cruise Industry

    April 15, 2024 On July 7, 2023, the United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO) and its participating maritime countries set their Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions strategy to achieve net zero “by or around” 2050. As a result, the shipping industry, including cruise lines, is adopting various strategies to achieve this ambitious goal, including new fuels,… Read More…

  • Project Spotlight: Sainte-Thérèse High School Lighting Upgrade

    Project Spotlight: Sainte-Thérèse High School Lighting Upgrade

    Built in 1980, the building that houses Sainte-Thérèse high school, in Quebec Canada, was looking a little worse for the wear. Renovation work began with two major projects: introducing a multidisciplinary sports centre, as well as redesigning the parking lots.  The employee and visitor parking lots were completely reconfigured during phase 1 of the renovation… Read More…

  • Guide to the Canadian Electrical Code, Part 1[i], 26th Edition – A Road Map: Section 10 – Grounding and Bonding

    Guide to the Canadian Electrical Code, Part 1[i], 26th Edition – A Road Map: Section 10 – Grounding and Bonding

    April 8, 2024 By William (Bill) Burr[i] The Code is a comprehensive document. Sometimes, it can seem daunting to quickly find the information you need.  This series of articles provides a guide to help users find their way through this critical document. This is not intended to replace the notes in Appendix B, or the… Read More…

  • Investment in the Residential Sector Declines in January 2024

    Investment in the Residential Sector Declines in January 2024

    April 8, 2024 Investment in building construction declined 0.9% to $19.7 billion in January. The residential sector declined 1.4% to $13.6 billion, while investment in the non-residential sector edged up 0.2% to $6.1 billion. On a constant dollar basis (2017=100), investment in building construction fell 0.9% to $12.1 billion in January. Investment in the residential sector declines Investment in residential building construction declined… Read More…


Changing Scene