B.C.’s mass timber education and training support aims for ‘Future-Ready’ workforce

B.C.’s recent $250,000 funding to British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) will support the development of additional programming to equip tradespeople with in-demand skills for better uptake of mass timber in construction. Photo courtesy Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

B.C.’s recent $250,000 funding to British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) will support the development of additional programming to equip tradespeople with in-demand skills for better uptake of mass timber in construction.

This investment aims to help the institute create programs such as the ‘construction of mass timber structures associate certificate,’ a part-time, blended six-month program. Delivered primarily in an online format, the course also has a two-week practicum at the BCIT Burnaby campus, where students gain hands-on installation experience with mass timber structures.

The new programming to be created by BCIT will help experienced carpenters, ironworkers, and builders gain the skillset needed to succeed in the growing field of mass timber innovation.

The investment from the Province aligns with StrongerBC’s Future Ready Skills for the Jobs of Tomorrow Plan. Future Ready will be a cross-government plan to make education and training more accessible, affordable, and relevant, and help British Columbians thrive in the jobs of tomorrow, while helping businesses grow. It also meets the Province’s climate goals by supporting clean growth and renewable resources.

“We are investing in new post-secondary training for students to become leaders in mass timber construction, which will help people succeed and be future ready in a sector that is setting the example of how to build a better British Columbia for all,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. “We’re also investing in student housing and projects that involve mass timber at post-secondary institutions, including providing $108.8 million toward BCIT’s new Tall Timber Student Housing, which is currently under construction.”

The growing mass timber sector is expected to generate more than 4,000 jobs in manufacturing, technology, forestry, design, and engineering, in communities throughout the province. It is also anticipated to promote the adoption of new technologies and approaches to further bolster existing jobs, with a projected worth of $403 million by 2035.

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