Media Release: VCC’s heavy mechanical trades transferring to BCIT

Posted on February 2, 2022

VANCOUVER – Mechanical maintenance and heavy mechanical repairs are in-demand skills with hundreds of students graduating from heavy duty programs every year in B.C. Since 2014, Vancouver Community College (VCC) and the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) have shared a campus on Annacis Island where both institutions have offered Heavy Mechanical Trades (HMT) programming. In April 2022, due to operational cost increases, VCC will be transferring most of its HMT programming over to BCIT.

A little over a year ago, it became apparent to VCC that the current and ongoing cost of the long-term lease for the college’s share of the Annacis Island campus was unsustainable. BCIT expressed an openness to assume responsibility for the entire campus, including the HMT programs currently being delivered by VCC. To ensure the continuity of the HMT program, the two schools worked together on a solution that will transition most of VCC’s heavy duty programs over to BCIT.

“This was difficult decision for the college,” says David Wells, Vice President, Academic and Research. “However, the current costs of the program at Annacis for VCC are not sustainable. We felt this move was in the best interest of students and the continuation of Heavy Mechanical Trades in the lower mainland.”

VCC has offered mechanical trades programs for over 50 years. In 2014, VCC and BCIT entered a partnership to share a campus on Annacis Island, where both institutions have offered HMT programming. The 13,192 square-metre (142,000 square-foot) Motive Power Centre of Excellence was initially leased to BCIT and VCC to provide the heavy duty trade programs the space needed to accommodate their unique requirements.

As of April 1, 2022, VCC will no longer occupy space at the Annacis Island campus where the program is currently being delivered. However, as part of the agreement with BCIT, VCC will deliver a Youth Train in Trades Heavy Duty Foundation Program for Grades 11 and 12 secondary school students at the VCC Broadway campus.

Adds Wells, “VCC is committed to the well-being of HMT students and the successful continuation of heavy duty programs. I would also like to acknowledge the work of our team at VCC and the support we’ve received from the Industry Training Authority (ITA) and the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training as we transition programming.”

Over the coming months, VCC and BCIT will continue to work closely to ensure a seamless transition of the program. 

“We are thankful to the VCC community and for the many years of partnership in creating a collaborative, supportive, and hands-on learning environment for all students on the Annacis Island campus,” says Dr. Tom Roemer, Vice President, Academic, BCIT. “With this structural change, BCIT welcomes a new cadre of BCIT colleagues and students, and remains committed to ensuring all students are fully supported and have the resources to succeed in their applied educational journey.” 

To learn more about the Heavy Mechanical Trades program, visit https://www.bcit.ca/programs/heavy-mechanical-trades-foundation-certificate-full-time-1940cert/.

To learn more about the Youth Train in Trades (YTIT) program, visit https://www.vcc.ca/programscourses/youth-train-in-trades/.

For students looking for information on changes to the delivery of Heavy Mechanical Trades programs, visit https://www.bcit.ca/transportation/areas-of-study/motive-power/vcc-transition/.


About VCC

VCC has been inspiring students to reach their career and educational goals for over 55 years, offering post-secondary training in over 130 programs including bachelor's degrees, diplomas, certificates, and apprenticeships. With two campuses located Downtown and in East Vancouver, students receive hands-on instruction in culinary arts, business, design, health sciences, hospitality management, transportation trades, music, and more.

About BCIT

For more than 55 years, the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) has been delivering flexible, relevant, and future-proof education that prepares learners to provide applied solutions to industry challenges – across B.C. and around the world. With five campuses and about 45,000 students enrolled each year, BCIT is one of B.C.’s largest post-secondary institutes. The BCIT curriculum is developed through close consultation with industry, and delivered by instructors who have direct, hands-on experience in their fields. Students gain the technical skills, real-world experience, and problem-solving ability needed to embrace complexity and lead innovation in a rapidly changing workforce. Through its unique applied education model, BCIT is connecting education, industry, and government to power provincial recovery and resilience. 


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