Posted on July 19, 2023

VCC partners with Canadian military to address growing demand for heavy duty mechanics 

Female students learning in the heavy duty foundation program

Vancouver, BC – In response to the increasing demand for heavy duty mechanics across Canada, Vancouver Community College (VCC) has teamed up with the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) to offer training for aspiring vehicle technicians in the military.

The joint initiative will leverage the expertise of both organizations to provide comprehensive training to CAF personnel seeking a career in the heavy mechanical trades and incentivize civilian students who are interested in pursuing a career in the military. 

Through the CAF 3E Consultancy Team (Education, Experience, Equivalency), VCC completed a rigorous application process to ensure it met the strict curriculum standards for vehicle technician training provided by the CAF. VCC’s Heavy Mechanical Trades Foundation program now appears on the CAF military occupation list which identifies post-secondary institutions across the country who partner with CAF on occupational training.

VCC is the first college in British Columbia to partner with CAF on vehicle technician training. 

"Cultivating strong partnerships with industry leaders means we can prepare students for success in the workforce,” adds Lucy Griffith, Acting Dean, School of Trades, Technology & Design. “We thank the Canadian Armed Forces for their collaboration and look forward to a long and productive partnership that provides military personnel with the skills and experience needed for a successful career in heavy mechanical trades.” 

“We are pleased to be partnering with VCC for this initiative by adding the Heavy Mechanical Trades Foundation to our portfolio of recognized programs," adds CAF 3E Consultancy Team. "Currently, the CAF, through the CAF 3E Team, is collaborating with over 200 post-secondary institutions, recognizing hundreds of programs of study. Our aim is to increase this listing so more individuals from across Canada have the opportunity to achieve their educational goals with a Canadian institution and their career goals with the CAF.”

In VCC’s Heavy Mechanical Trades Foundation program, students receive hands-on training in the college’s 10,000 square foot training facility in the maintenance and repair of commercial vehicles and the latest in clean technology training. 

Demand high for heavy duty mechanics across the country

The timing of the partnership couldn’t be at a better time. The industry is currently facing a labour crunch and heavy-duty mechanics are in high demand in B.C. and across the country. Both the Province of B.C. and the Government of Canada are encouraging people to pursue careers in skilled trades and heavy-duty mechanics is among the top in-demand occupations within the trades. 

“As we move forward with the college’s Campus Plan, which will act as a catalyst that transforms VCC into an innovative centre for learning, partnering with the Canadian Armed Forces is a testament to how we are putting words into action and supporting our communities,” says Ajay Patel, VCC president. “The collaboration with the Canadian Armed Forces will provide opportunities for individuals across Canada to get practical, hands-on training in a field that is in dire need of skilled workers, while serving our country.”

Students in the Heavy Mechanical Trades Foundation program also have an opportunity to learn the latest in clean technology: VCC has a growing fleet of electric heavy duty equipment including a compact excavator and forklift.

“The use of electric heavy duty equipment is becoming increasingly more common, and ensuring students receive the latest training in clean technology will give them a competitive advantage in the job market,” adds Griffith.

Individuals interested in pursuing a military career in heavy mechanical trades can visit or to learn more. 

Train on real vehicles and equipment in fully operational shops using the most up-to-date tools and technology. Enrol in programs for automotive repair, collision and refinishing, and heavy mechanical trades.