As more and more drivers make the swap from gas-powered vehicles to more environmentally friendly electric models, the need for automotive technicians with the skills to repair them will grow. Camosun College is taking action to ensure their students can meet the demand.
The post-secondary institution has announced its new electric vehicle (EV) maintenance training program which will be offered at the Camosun College Interurban campus in Saanich.
The trades program – which will also be offered at the Okanagan College Kelowna campus and the College of New Caledonia Prince George campus – was established in partnership with Trades Training BC. The province’s CleanBC Go Electric program also contributed $440,000 to the new training courses.
This program is an expansion of the one initially launched at the British Columbia Institute of Technology’s Burnaby campus in 2019. Red Seal automotive technicians at the college are taught the skills they need to repair EVs. By expanding the program to other colleges, the province hopes to create jobs, boost post-pandemic financial recovery and make it easier for residents to switch to EVs, explained Bruce Ralston, minister of energy, mines and low carbon innovation, in a statement.
Lana Popham, MLA for Saanich-South, agreed, noting that funding the program will not only lay the groundwork for residents to swap to EVs but will provide students with “marketable skills” as more EVs appear on the roads.
The investment in EV training aligns with the provincial government’s StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan and the Zero-Emission Vehicle Act – passed in May 2019 – which stipulates that by 2040, all new light-duty cars and trucks sold in B.C. must be zero-emission vehicles.
“Camosun is excited to lead the way as the regional provider of electric vehicle maintenance training for Vancouver Island,” said Patrick Jones, who leads the college’s automotive technician program.
He noted that the program’s expert instructors, modern facilities and 10,000-square-foot training centre made Camosun the ideal candidate to act as the EV education hub for those looking to enter the industry and current Red Seal automotive technicians who wish to upgrade their skills.
Anyone wishing to take part in the EV maintenance program can check their nearest college’s website for course information and start dates – training will begin this fall.
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