Provincial funding will help support mass timber innovation students studying in Burnaby, the province says.
Burnaby-Deer Lake MLA and Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training Anne Kang has announced $250,000 in funding for BCIT aimed to build on the new construction of mass timber structures associate certificate.
"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," Kang said in a news release.
"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 online program is part-time and blended over six months, but also includes a two-week practicum at the post-secondary's Burnaby campus, where students get hands-on experience with mass timber structures.
A group of 12 to 24 students will start in January 2023.
"We're looking to the future to guide us and our workforce," Burnaby North MLA Janet Routledge added.
"That's why we're focusing our efforts on growing, retaining and developing homegrown talent through our students right here in B.C. to meet the growing demand for well-paying jobs in a rewarding and innovative field like mass timber installation."
The province says the mass timber sector will support more than 4,000 jobs in manufacturing, technology, forestry, design and engineering while also promoting new technology and approaches to help already existing jobs.
The government says the sector has a projected worth of $403 million by 2035.
"As the largest provider of trades training in Western Canada, it's critical that BCIT is delivering relevant, hands-on training to help learners master in-demand skills, while contributing toward an agile workforce with sustained and meaningful impact," BCIT's school of construction and environment dean Wayne Hand explained.
"This investment from the Province of British Columbia allows more trades professionals in upskilling to advance mass timber innovation, clean-energy solutions, as well as the economic prosperity of B.C."