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On Monday morning, Vancouver Community College welcomed Minister of Advanced Education Andrew Wilkinson to the Broadway automotive service technician shop to announce special funding of over $694,000 for the purchase of new trades-training equipment.
"BC is looking at a million job openings in the next 10 years,” said Minister Wilkinson, acknowledging that this period will also bring advances in technology that will increase efficiency, quality, and safety in the work of our tradespeople.
Training apprentices on the latest industry-specific equipment will be a key to employment and success in the future workforce, and especially in automotive trades, where technology continues to advance rapidly.
With this funding, VCC will purchase equipment such as training vehicles and parts for the automotive service technician program, 15-litre training engines for heavy-mechanical trades, and a mobile food station for culinary arts.
VCC automotive service technician student James Tobin took part in the announcement, representing his classmates and expressing thanks.
James’ first pursuit was to become a chef, but after having a child, found himself working at a Jiffy Lube instead. It was there that he realized he wanted to pursue a career in cars. “I’d like to end up at a performance shop working on high-end vehicles,” he says. “Maybe even own my own shop or study mechanical engineering.”
Dustin Janzen, a VCC automotive graduate and independent owner of a Minit Tune and Brake Auto Centre, where he typically employs four to six VCC apprentices, also shared his support for the funding, and encouragement for students to be trained in the latest technology.