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Investing in mass timber education supports clean growth

More students will get the education and skills they need to build using one of the province’s greatest natural advantages: hardwood.

A new program helps experienced carpenters, ironworkers and builders gain the in-demand skills needed to succeed in the growing field of solid wood innovation. Investing in mass timber education supports BC workers by expanding the mass timber sector. It reinforces the StrongerBC economic plan and the province’s climate goals by supporting clean growth and renewable resources.

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

At the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) Applied Mass Timber Build Open House, Kang announced $250,000 to help BCIT develop additional programs, building on the success of the new Associate’s Certificate in construction of solid wood structures.

“This program is a game-changer for our construction industry and our growing hardwood sector here in British Columbia,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “This investment will help ensure that British Columbia has enough workers with the right skills to build our buildings of the future, delivering clean, inclusive and sustainable economic development in every corner of the province. .

The Associate’s Certificate in Mass Timber Structure Construction is a six-month, part-time, blended program. It is offered online, with a two-week internship at the BCIT Burnaby campus, where students gain hands-on installation experience with mass timber structures. A cohort of 12 to 24 students will start in January 2023.

“We look to the future to guide us and our workforce,” said Burnaby North MPP Janet Routledge. “That’s why we are focused on growing, retaining and developing local talent through our students right here in British Columbia to meet the growing demand for well-paying jobs in a rewarding and innovative field like the installation of solid wood. »

Growing mass timber sector will support more than 4,000 jobs in manufacturing, technology, forestry, design and engineering, and create new jobs in communities across the province . The mass timber sector will promote new technologies and approaches to further support existing jobs, with a projected value of $403 million by 2035.

“As the largest provider of trades training in Western Canada, it is critical that BCIT provides relevant hands-on training to help learners master in-demand skills, while contributing to an agile workforce. with lasting and significant impact,” said Wayne Hand, Dean of BCIT’s School of Construction and Environment. “This investment from the Province of British Columbia is empowering more trades professionals to advance mass timber innovation, clean energy solutions, and economic prosperity in British Columbia.”

Solid wood is a durable building material that is made by attaching several layers of smaller dimension wood together with glue, dowels or nails. Mass timber products are strong, structural load-bearing components, such as columns, beams, and panels used to construct residential, commercial, and industrial buildings.

“BCIT’s Introductory Mass Timber Construction Micro-Degrees provided me with practical, industry-focused skills to drive innovation in the growing field of mass timber,” said Mike Metcalfe, Foreman , Seagate Mass Timber. “An educational expansion program, such as the Associate’s Certificate in Mass Timber Structure Construction, which I am completing, will increase accessibility for professionals in all industries to be prepared to work in support of new workforce opportunities and demands.”

Support for new programs, such as this certificate program, aligns with StrongerBC’s Future Ready Skills for the Jobs of Tomorrow plan. Future Ready will be a whole-of-government plan to make education and training more accessible, affordable and relevant, and help British Columbians thrive for the jobs of tomorrow, while helping businesses grow.

Learn more:

For more information on BC’s mass timber industry, visit: https://gov.bc.ca/masstimber

To read the Mass Timber Action Plan, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/business/construction-industry/bc_masstimber_action_plan_2022.pdf

For more information on the Mass Timber Demo Program, visit: https://www.masstimberbc.ca/

StrongerBC Economic Plan: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/plan

A backgrounder follows.

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