Proponent Hopeful Local Trades Training Centre Will Be Part Of Labour Shortage Solution
By 250 News
Prince George, BC - Proponents of a technical trades training centre on a portion of the shuttered Rustad sawmill site hope their proposal will be part of any solution to come out of an upcoming workforce roundtable to deal with skilled labour shortages.
The Vanderhoof- based BID Group of Companies and Canfor propose turning off a 10-acre parcel of Rustad's BCR properties, along with several donated large buildings, to the provincial government for a 'hands on' training centre.
Speaking on the Meisner program on CFIS 93.1fm this morning, BID spokesperson, Brian Fehr, says discussions with the government, CNC, BCIT, and local industry occurred through the winter. On April 13th, at a meeting involving cabinet ministers and industry reps in Prince George, Fehr says, "That's where we stopped and we have decided to go a bit different way."
At the end of this week, Jobs, Tourism, and Innovation Minister, Pat Bell, will host a workforce roundtable to examine what the industry needs are, where the training shortfalls lie, and whether it's a matter of adding new seats to existing programs or if new infrastructure is needed. CNC, BCIT, Northern Lights College, and Thompson Rivers University officials, along with ministry and industry reps, will all be involved.
Fehr believes the Rustad proposal can work in collaboration with CNC and does not overlap the local college's offerings. "I look forward to seeing how we can make sure that somehow the Rustad solution is part of the (overall) solution."
Fehr emphasizes that 'capital is mobile' and if those looking to invest in our region and province see a problem - like major labour shortages - not being addressed, they will simply leave. "They'll go to other countries," he says. "These mines will open somewhere else, (like) Peru and Bolivia."
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Finally starting to make some sense, although I still think that the "Proponents" are not strictly charitable philanthropists in this venture.
Hey, I'm all for free enterprise, but is there a genuine need for this additional training space? And to those who assume that there would not be much soil remediation required on a former sawmill site, all I can suggest is that you have not spent much time at an industrial scale sawmill that has been in place more than forty years. Remember that we did not have strict environmental requirements in the sixties.
frank1, i can tell you that my trade (h.d. mechanic) is wanting very badly, companies are cold calling and poaching from one another. it seems that over the last twenty years all the kids wanted IT type jobs and werent wanting or willing to do the hard work.
suits me fine, make wicked money and choose where i work.