Home Education Job Training & Retraining Electric vehicle technician training expands to three more campuses

Electric vehicle technician training expands to three more campuses

Monday March 29, 2021 | VICTORIA, BC

by Mary P Brooke, Editor | Island Social Trends

More automotive technicians in BC can now upgrade their skills to work on electric vehicles (EVs) through the expansion of the EV Maintenance Training program to three additional colleges.

Until now, the Red Seal training for EV maintenance has been taught only at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in Vancouver. Today it was announced that the training offering has expanded to Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus, College of New Caledonia’s Prince George campus and Camosun College’s Interurban campus in Victoria.

“We’re supporting the growing popularity of EVs by helping auto technicians develop the skills they need to work on EVs in service centres across B.C.,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation.

Minister Bruce Ralston
Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation Bruce Ralston (bottom left) led an announcement about EV training funding on March 29, 2021.

“The expansion of the EV Maintenance Training program will help grow our EV sector and make it even easier for British Columbians to make the switch to an EV, putting us on the road to a cleaner, better future,” said Ralston.

As BC has encouraged people to purchase EV’s as part of a shift to a cleaner environment, the demand for maintenance and repair of those vehicles has increased.

The Zero-Emission Vehicle Act, passed on May 30, 2019, requires all new light-duty cars and trucks sold in B.C. to be zero-emission vehicles by 2040.

Funding comes at a good time:

Today’s announcement was about $440,000 now being provided through the Province’s CleanBC Go Electric program and in partnership with Trades Training BC (TTBC), to provide the training at the three additional colleges.

Representatives of the colleges and industry today during a live virtual media announcement seemed truly grateful for the funding, and that it comes when needed.

plugging in, electric vehicle
Electric vehicles need to be recharged and also maintained and repaired.

“The bulk of the funding for new infrastructure including supplies and equipment” is welcome, said Guy Ellis, president and CEO, Trades Training BC (TTBC).

TTBC is a consortium of 15 B.C. public post-secondary educational institutions created to promote trades training in British Columbia. Its primary function is to encourage students and others considering career retraining to explore trades as a viable career option.

Camosun College invites applicants:

“We are laying the groundwork to make the switch to electric vehicles easier and more convenient for people,” said Lana Popham, MLA for Saanich-South. “By funding this program at Camosun, we are equipping students with marketable skills for a world where more and more EVs will be on the road.”

BC Agriculture Minister Lana Popham
Hon Lana Popham, MLA for Saanich-South (government photo, 2020)

Red Seal automotive technicians wanting to upgrade their skills in EV maintenance should check each college’s website for course details. Pilot training will begin in fall 2021.

“Camosun is excited to lead the way as the regional provider of electric vehicle maintenance training for Vancouver Island,” said Patrick Jones, automotive technician program leader, Camosun College.

Patrick Jones, Camosun
Patrick Jones, Instructor and Program Leader, Automotive Service Technician Apprentice and Foundation. [Camosun]

“Our expert instructors, state-of-the-art teaching technologies and industry-level 929 square-metre (10,000 square foot) training centre makes Camosun uniquely ready to be an electric vehicle education hub for the local auto industry and automotive technicians seeking to enhance their skills,” said Jones today.

This increased investment in EV training aligns with the Province’s StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan, which protects people’s health and livelihoods while supporting B.C. businesses and communities.

Course inquiries:

BCIT’s Burnaby campus initially launched the program in 2019 to provide Red Seal automotive technicians with the skills they need to work on EVs. This program expansion will prepare British Columbians for good-paying jobs of the future and post-pandemic economic recovery, it was stated by Minister Ralston today during

Red Seal automotive technicians wanting to upgrade their skills in EV maintenance may check each college’s website for course details. Pilot training will begin in fall 2021.

This increased investment in EV training aligns with the Province’s StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan, which protects people’s health and livelihoods while supporting B.C. businesses and communities.

===== Quotes (provided by government):

  • Andrew Mercier, Parliamentary Secretary for Skills Training – “As part of our modernization of the trades training system, these new and ongoing professional development opportunities ensure the trades can continue to offer exciting lifelong careers for automotive technicians, with opportunities to reskill or upskill in key areas. On top of that, evolving our training opportunities to meet demand helps expand capacity for energy efficient products and services that align with our CleanBC goals.”
  • Andrew Ross, automotive service technician instructor, Okanagan College – “We know from speaking with our students and with industry that there is huge interest and a real need for EV training. This funding ensures we can tool up to deliver state-of-the-art training that will help our students be in demand and get jobs. It means our students are training with the very latest technologies and training aids. So, it’s a win-win-win for our students, for Okanagan College and for employers.”
  • Guy Ellis, president and CEO, TTBC – “The increased investment in EV training aligns with TTBC’s strategic priorities of collaboration and innovation. This government support for the post-secondary system to work with industry promotes trades and trades workers contributing to the action on climate change.”
  • Roly Russell, MLA Boundary-Similkameen – “Our skilled tradespeople in rural B.C. are essential for keeping the places we work, live and play safe and comfortable. In this case, they also help keep our vehicles on the road and operating smoothly. By expanding this training program, we’re building on our provincewide charging network for electric cars. Drivers in every corner of the province can confidently make the switch to an electric vehicle knowing that they will be able to get local service where and when they need it.”
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===== LINKS (provided by government)

To learn more about the initial BCIT EV training program, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2019EMPR0113-002331

To learn more about Okanagan College, visit: https://www.okanagan.bc.ca/

To learn more about the College of New Caledonia, visit: https://cnc.bc.ca/

To learn more about Camosun College, visit: http://camosun.ca/

camosun college, technician
Automotive service training at Camosun College.

To learn more about Trades Training BC, visit: https://www.tradestrainingbc.ca/

To learn more about the suite of CleanBC Go Electric programming, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/zeroemissionvehicles

To learn more about the CleanBC plan, visit: https://cleanbc.gov.bc.ca/

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