Building on the trades

Jason Riozzi is busy at work in the commercial transport vehicle technician program, which is now holding classes seven days a week. Taylor Fry/The Omega

Jason Riozzi is busy at work in the commercial transport vehicle technician program, which is now holding classes seven days a week. Taylor Fry/The Omega

TRU’s trades department grows, with more students and classes than ever before

Taylor Fry, Contributor Ω

Trades enrolment is up this year, leading to the trades and technology program at TRU now holding classes seven days a week.

Enrollment has been growing steadily and numbers are up considerably this year, according to Lindsay Langill, dean of trades and technology.

Demand for the trades exceeds supply by approximately 2,000 positions, according to the Research Universities’ Council of British Columbia’s labour market profile. This surplus is expected to slowly decrease before reaching an equilibrium in 2016.

The rise in students entering the trades has lead to storage rooms being converted into classrooms. Classes are now being held in the afternoon and evening as opposed to just the morning and classes are also being held on Saturday and Sunday for some of the programs.

There is a message that getting a trades education is a means to an end. According to Langill, research shows more undergrads are choosing a university program that is going to land them a career.

There is a surplus of jobs available in the tar sands and mining sectors, many of these jobs also have added incentives for B.C. graduates due to the BC Jobs Plan. The liquid natural gas (LNG) plant projects in Northern BC are also expected to create 100,000 jobs that will be filled locally wherever possible, according to Kitimat LNG.

Part of the reason for the spike in enrollment may be that students can expect not only an abundance of opportunities, but also lucrative ones.

According to Langill, a first-year power line technician can expect apprenticeships that would earn them over $100,000 per year, while Students coming out of the first level are earning $54,000 to $154,000 annually.