Heavy-duty transportation students get a close look at a large diesel engine during a provincial government announcement of a new school on Annacis Island in Delta. The Motive Power Centre will combine students from BCIT and VCC into one location.

Heavy-duty transportation students get a close look at a large diesel engine during a provincial government announcement of a new school on Annacis Island in Delta. The Motive Power Centre will combine students from BCIT and VCC into one location.

Heavy-duty transport school moves to Annacis Island

Programs for mechanics, railway conductors and forklift operators will open in 2014.

Students wanting to enrol in a heavy-duty transportation program will have a new training centre opening in 2014.

The provincial government announced $4.5 million towards the opening of the 142,000-sq.-ft. Motive Power Centre that will be located on Annacis Island in Delta.

The programs will train mechanics in heavy-duty, transport trailer, diesel, and commercial transportation applications, as well as railway conductors and forklift operators.

With 13,000 people employed in the heavy-duty commercial transportation field, the plan is to combine the programs already in place at Vancouver Community College and the B.C. Institute of Technology into one facility allowing the students to partner with industry and focus on collaboration, innovation and the efficient use of equipment and resources.

Currently BCIT and VCC graduate 650 students annually from the heavy-duty transportation programs, with more than half of the graduates entering the workforce each year.

“Around 43 per cent of the one million jobs expected to open by 2020 will require trades or technical training,” said Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk during a tour of the new school site on Monday. “Co-locating two existing heavy-duty transportation programs into one centre will benefit students, industry and employers.”

BCIT President Kathy Kinloch said the Annacis Island centre has many benefits.

“Our students will have better teaching facilities, learning and laboratory spaces, and the opportunity to connect with industry.”

The $4.5-million one-time funding is being provided to cover moving and relocation costs of the program from its current Great Northern Way campus in Vancouver to Annacis Island.