Julian Savoie

Julian Savoie

VIU plans to spend provincial money on training equipment

NANAIMO – Part of $187,071 will be used for engine simulators for Vancouver Island University automotive program.

Vancouver Island University will spend $187,071 of B.C. government money to purchase training equipment, such as simulators for students in the automotive trades.

The government and university made an announcement about the provincial money Wednesday. Dean Cadieux, university automotive department chairman, said a pair of ConsuLab engine test benches will be among the equipment purchased.

“Those test benches will allow the students to work on simulated faults, which are very difficult to find in real world,” said Cadieux. “If we’re talking instructing about certain component in class, now we can come down, simulate a problem with that component on a vehicle and then they can test that.”

Lab scopes and scanning equipment will also be purchased and students will use the tools to diagnose the simulated faults, said Cadieux.

The equipment will be ready for students in September, Cadieux said.

Julian Savoie and Dylan Peach, automotive program apprentices, said the test benches will aid them in their education and training.

“It’s basically a working car, except it’s got no drive train or anything and the teacher would put a bug in it, so then you have to figure out what’s wrong with the vehicle and it’s less invasive than working on an actual car,” said Peach. “It’s a lot easier because everything is wired in through like a switchboard, so you don’t have to actually take connections apart and reconnect them afterwards, so it’s a lot more durable and will last longer that way.”

Other equipment the university will purchase will include a welding simulator and table saw.

The government also announced $4.85 million in support for 1,366 trades seats.

The government investment, through the Industry Training Authority, will provide trades seats for cooking, welding, heavy mechanics, electrical and carpentry through the end of March, said Michelle Stilwell, Parksville-Qualicum MLA and minister of social development and social innovation.