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Cooking up success for trades and tech students

New industry-standard equipment is one of the ingredients for success for future bakers and cooks at Vancouver Community College (VCC).

VCC is one of 19 public post-secondary institutions throughout the province receiving $160,000 each to buy up-to-date equipment for trades and technology programs. Government funding for updated equipment this year totalled $3 million.

“Student success is the key ingredient to creating, building and maintaining the best B.C.,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “Our strong economy and the technology driving it are rapidly evolving. Investing in students, skills and state-of-the-art training equipment at our province’s post-secondary institutions is a win-win.”

With the funding, VCC baking and culinary students at its downtown campus are benefiting from a range of equipment, including an appliance called an anti-griddle, which flash freezes, and a magnetic stirrer. VCC also bought used transport trucks for heavy mechanical trades students to learn on and a new plastic welder for its automotive program.

“Employment opportunities in the trades and technology sectors are increasing in every region of the province, helping to further B.C.’s economic prosperity,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology. “Training with the latest tools and equipment allows students to gain real-world skills that translate to the jobs of tomorrow.”

Trades and technology workers are in high demand in B.C. – that includes about 2,270 job openings for bakers and 14,780 for chefs and cooks throughout B.C. by 2028.

“Creating pathways for our students to the careers of their future is the hallmark of VCC and up-to-date equipment really paves the way forward,” said Peter Nunoda, president of VCC. “State-of-the-art equipment for students in automotive trades and heavy mechanical trades, culinary arts and baking is giving the tools they need to succeed.”


Jade Sarmiento, culinary student, VCC –

“Getting to learn on up-to-date equipment has really increased my confidence in my skills and inspired me to be creative. It’s so fun to come in to these kitchens every day and learn techniques that are on the cutting edge.”

Shelley Gray, CEO, Industry Training Authority –

“The experience trades students get in their classrooms, labs and kitchens is so important to set them up for successful careers. When students have access to the most-up-to-date equipment, it’s really building skills that employers need, and that will allow them to shine in their future careers.”

George Chow, MLA for Vancouver-Fraserview

“By investing in up-to-date equipment, we’re ensuring students, at VCC and throughout the Lower Mainland and the province, are developing the skills they need to be the next generation of tech and trades leaders in B.C. I’m proud to be able to support our students as they learn and make sure employers have the skilled workforce they need to thrive.”

Quick Facts:

  • B.C.’s 2018 Labour Market Outlook projects 903,000 job openings by 2028. Of those openings, 77% will require some post-secondary education or training.
  • By 2028, B.C. expects close to 71,000 job openings in the trades. High-demand trades occupations in B.C. include millwrights, heavy duty mechanics and carpenters.
  • B.C. expects 82,300 job openings in the tech sector by 2028. High-demand occupations in the tech industry include civil engineering, computer and software engineering, programming, web development and technicians.
  • The $3 million in equipment builds on $5.4 million provided to 15 post-secondary institutions for trades and technology equipment in 2017.

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