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Help for trades waiting lists at UFV in Chilliwack

Chilliwack-Hope MLA Laurie Throness speaks Thursday at the announcement of funding for 194 trades spaces at UFV
Chilliwack-Hope MLA Laurie Throness speaks Thursday at the announcement of funding for 194 trades spaces at UFV's Trade and Technology Centre.
— image credit: Darren McDonald/UFV

Some students on waitlists for the University of the Fraser Valley's (UFV) Trades and Technology (TTC) Centre may be in luck as more seats are opening up.

Chilliwack-Hope MLA Laurie Throness was at the UFV's TTC in Chilliwack Thursday along with Chilliwack MLA John Martin and Abbotsford-South MLA Darryl Plecas to announce funding for an additional 194 training spaces for trades.

The money is part of the BC Liberal government's Skills for Jobs Blueprint with a focus on the liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector the province hopes is coming.

UFV will receive $872,000 to help add seats in the following trades departments:

• 40 welder foundation;

• 16 welder apprenticeship;

• 18 carpenter foundation;

• 16 carpenter apprenticeship;

• 54 electrician foundation;

• 32 electrician apprenticeship;

• 18 heavy-duty equipment mechanic foundation.

“We want British Columbians to be first in line for the million job openings expected in the coming years," Martin said in a press release. "The 194 additional trades training seats at the University of the Fraser Valley will give more students the chance to get the skills they need to succeed.”

Banking on a booming LNG industry in the coming years, the province says those one million job openings will arrive by 2022.

Even Thursday's positive announcement, however, will not satisfy everyone on the long waiting lists for a number of trades programs at UFV.

In May there were 102 students on a waitlist for construction electrician and 89 students for welding foundation.

"[W]e are, as all other areas are, under budget restraints and budget cuts from the Ministry of Advanced Education," Rolf Arnold, director of faculty of applied and technical studies at UFV, said in May.

Today's announcement is part of $6.8 million allocated to create 1,424 foundation and apprenticeship seats at 14 schools.

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