Nanaimo MLA Leonard Krog, Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley, VIU engineering transfer student Allan Stenlund, VIU elder-in-residence Geraldine Manson and VIU engineering program chairman Brian Dick look over engineering students’ class work Wednesday morning. VANCOUVER ISLAND UNIVERSITY photo

Province announces support for VIU’s engineering department

Government will provide $100,000 funding for spaces for students in certificate and diploma programs

Provincial funding will allow Vancouver Island University to provide capacity for an additional 40 engineering students.

The Province of B.C. announced it will provide $100,000 toward student spaces in the fundamentals of engineering certificate program and a new engineering design and practice diploma program.

“B.C.’s tech sector is growing exponentially, and companies in every corner of the province need skilled workers,” said Bruce Ralston, provincial minister of jobs, trade and technology, in a press release. “These additional seats at Vancouver Island University’s engineering programs will help local companies find the talent they need to get their product to market and generate good-paying tech jobs.”

Nanaimo MLA Leonard Krog and Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley were on hand for the announcement.

“To obtain good-paying, 21st-century jobs, people need access to affordable and relevant education,” said Routley, in a press release. “Funding two new engineering programs at Vancouver Island University will open the doors to opportunities in the tech sectors.”

Spaces for the one-year certificate program and the two-year diploma program will become available in 2019-20 with 20 spaces initially and doubling the following year.

Brian Dick, chair of VIU’s engineering, physics and astronomy, said in the release that the university thanks the province for “recognizing the importance of funding regional training that will prepare students for in-demand engineering occupations.”

According to the release, the provincial government is adding 2,900 tech-related spaces throughout B.C., to produce 1,000 additional tech grads a year by 2023.

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