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NEWS RELEASE · 16th November 2011
Students were pleased to learn that the Report on the Budget 2012 Consultations published today by the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services recommends improvements to trades and apprenticeship program equipment at Northwest Community College.

“Trades and apprenticeship programs need increased funding to stay relevant,” said Mikael Jensen, Northwest Community College Studentsʼ Union (NWCCSU) Organizer. “Many NWCC trades students are being taught on outdated equipment, which doesnʼt benefit the student or the economy.”

After significant funding increase in the three years before the current economic downturn, apprenticeship completions increased. Funding for trades and apprenticeship training decreased last year. The Committee recommended increasing apprenticeship opportunities and providing funding for state-of-the-
art equipment.

The Industry Training Authority (ITA) is the government body responsible for administering funding and curricula for trades and apprenticeship programs. Since the early 2000s, the ITA has undergone changes that removed representation from trade unions, faculty and students.

“Student and worker representation is needed on government bodies responsible for education,” said Jensen, “Accountable representation on the ITA would ensure that trades and apprenticeship programs
maintain a high standard across the province, in today's global economy students need high-quality provincially and nationally accredited apprenticeship programs.”

The report also highlighted the NWCC School of Exploration and Mining (SEM). Currently SEM programming is created to suit the needs of employers and specific companies. The report states that the
committee was told that an annual funding commitment is needed from the Province to ensure the sustainability of the school.

“It is not clear if the BC Government is going to put the mining school under the purview of the ITA or simply provide the college with a blank check to support the school, regardless, public funding should
have public oversight,” said Jensen.

The Northwest Community College Studentsʼ Union, Local 66 of the Canadian Federation of Students is composed of all CCP, Trades and Credit students at Northwest Community College.