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Paving the way for a clean and sustainable future

Posted on July 14, 2023

electric vehicle being charged

In B.C., there are more than 3.7 million registered vehicles on the road. When it comes time to fix them, there is a shortage of automotive service technicians to diagnose and repair them. B.C.’s latest Labour Market Outlook projects approximately 6,700 job openings in automotive service and repair over the next ten years. 

“It’s a fantastic time to get into the automotive trades,” says Lucy Griffith, Acting Dean, School of Trades, Technology, and Design. “Not only is it a high-demand occupation, but it’s a good paying one as well with opportunities to advance to a Red Seal journeyperson and further increase your earning potential.”

At VCC, students in the Automotive Service Technician program receive hands-on training in the college’s 10,000 square foot training facility in the maintenance and repair of vehicles. In alignment with the college’s Strategic Innovation Plan and Campus Plan’s commitment to environmental sustainability, the college has introduced two new courses for automotive apprentices to learn about clean and sustainable technologies to further enhance their skillset and prepare them for the jobs of today and tomorrow.

Increasing safety on the road

Advanced driver assist systems, or ADAS, is a technological feature in vehicles that has been around for decades. These systems increase road safety through early warning and automated systems. Headline-grabbing autonomous or self-driving vehicles are one example of ADAS, but most modern cars have them in the form of parking sensors, cruise control, anti-lock brakes (ABS), and more.    

VCC is the only post-secondary institution in the Lower Mainland offering a course specializing in ADAS training. The course provides learners with the skills and knowledge necessary to understand the need for ADAS as well as diagnose, repair, and maintain vehicles with ADAS. It is open to individuals who have Level 3 apprentice or higher in the trades of auto body and collision, automotive service, heavy duty equipment, or truck and transport mechanics.

Supporting the province's net zero emissions target

To prepare for the impacts of climate change, the province is transitioning towards a net zero future. On B.C.’s roads, there are more than 100,000 electric vehicles (EV) registered in the province. As with any vehicle, they need to be inspected, repaired, and maintained on a regular basis. They also need to be repaired by technicians who understand the nuances of EV technology. 

VCC's zero emissions vehicle (ZEV) course prepares automotive service technicians to safely diagnose and service high voltage electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Certified technicians and 3rd and 4th year apprentices build on previous understanding of conventional vehicle systems to develop skills in preparation for the increasing use of electric vehicles on our roads. 

VCC is currently the only college in the country that includes training specifically on the Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.  

Both the ADAS and ZEV courses are covered under the StrongerBC future skills grant; eligible students will have their tuition covered all while upskilling in clean energy topics in automotive repair. Courses run based on enrolment. Interested individuals are encouraged to contact a program advisor to learn more. 

Discover your future in transportation trades at VCC.