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Trades wing expansion sees high-demand programs return to College of New Caledonia at Quesnel

CNC Quesnel is preparing to welcome students back into high-demand programs in modernized facilities. Quesnel students will benefit from power engineering fourth class and apprentice welding programs in 2024.

“We’re thrilled to expand our trades offerings in Quesnel,” said Cindy Heitman, president of CNC. “Our top priority is making sure students get skills that directly translate into the workplace. Updated learning environments ensure students not only get the skills they need to earn their certificate, but also find long-term success in rewarding careers.”

According to the BC Labour Market Outlook, the province will need more than 1,400 new power engineers in the next 10 years. This expansion will help meet that need by ensuring power engineering graduates receive practical and technical training to work in environments like power generation plants, pulp mills, hospitals, refineries, breweries, and hockey arenas.

For organizations like Northern Health, having skilled trades professionals locally is an asset. G.R. Baker Memorial Hospital is optimistic about what the return of power engineering and welding could mean for their workforce in Quesnel.

“We are excited to see these trades return to the Quesnel campus,” said Al Rempel, maintenance supervisor at G.R. Baker Memorial Hospital. “With the increasing complexity of health care-related buildings and equipment, locally trained skilled professionals play an important part in delivering and maintaining health services in our community.”

Courses will take place in an expanded trades wing at the Quesnel campus. The expansion project started in 2018. It includes a new high-pressure steam boiler, an expanded computer simulation lab, a new welding lab, atrium, and additional yard space. The B.C. government contributed $5.5 million to the renovations, with CNC providing the remaining $1.3 million.

“Training in power engineering 4th class or welding is a valuable entry point for students looking for a long-lasting, good-paying career in the trades,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills. “The expansion of trade offerings at the College of New Caledonia’s new trades wing will help grow BC’s vital skilled trades workforce and build a stronger BC.”

The one-year Power Engineering 4th Class begins in August 2024 and is open to high school graduates or those with equivalent experience. Visit the program page for more information on entry requirements.

Apprentice Welding begins in February 2024 and is designed for welding apprentices who have an employer sponsor. Apprentices must have their employer register them with Industry Training Authority (ITA) and fill out the application online.

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