Selkirk College expects government-funded bulge in LNG-related enrollment

Anticipated future demand drives creation of more post-secondary learning spaces

Funding for 54 new learners has been pledged to Selkirk College and new arrivals may begin their training as soon as this September. So declared the B.C. Government by way of a July 31 press release, part of the province’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint.

The move is expected to help shorten wait lists for trades critical to the liquified natural gas (LNG) and other industries.

As stated in the communique, the Castlegar-headquartered institution will receive $245,000 including $214,000 for the additional seats that will be available to students and $31,000 in operating and equipment funding to support delivery of training programs. Additional seats include:

• 18 welder foundation seats.

• 16 electrician foundation seats.

• 20 carpenter apprenticeship seats.

A total of 14 public post-secondary institutions across the province are in on the funding wave of $6.8 million intended to spark the creation of almost 1,500 foundation and apprenticeship seats.

A million job openings are expected in B.C. by 2022, with about 43 per cent requiring college education or apprenticeship training.

British Columbia’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint lays out a comprehensive action plan to re-engineer education and training so British Columbia’s students and workers have the skills to be first-in-line for jobs in a growing economy.

“We really appreciate this support from the government to expand our training seats for rewarding career pathways that are in demand and in programs that students want,” Selkirk College president Angus Graeme is quoted in the government press release. “We will be able to address a number of our waitlists and prepare students sooner for some excellent job opportunities in B.C.”