Recognized as one of the highest opportunity occupations in BC over the next 10 years, heavy duty equipment technicians have a bright future in our province. From equipment repair to maintenance, this practical hands-on career brings together critical thinking and mechanical ability. BCIT is pleased to announce that capacity has almost doubled to train apprentices in the high demand Heavy Mechanical Trades (HMT) at the Annacis Island Motive Power Centre of Excellence in Delta, BC.
Following the transition of HMT programming from VCC on April 1, 2022, BCIT has added four foundation and 16 apprenticeship classes to its portfolio including Heavy Duty Equipment Technician, Diesel Engine Mechanic, Transport Trailer Technician, and Truck & Transport Mechanic. This move positions BCIT as the only provider of HMT apprenticeship classes in the Metro Vancouver area. The Annacis Island Campus dedicates 13,192 square-metres (142,000 square-feet) to high-tech training spaces for HMT apprentices and also features a certified railroad, the largest heavy equipment simulator lab in BC, the largest engine ever donated to a post-secondary on full display, and is home to the Emissions Reduction and Research Test Hub (ERRTH).
“All Heavy Mechanical Trades apprentice programs previously delivered by VCC will continue at the Annacis Island Campus with BCIT,” says Bruce Thompson, Acting Associate Dean, Motive Power. “We are excited to welcome apprentices formerly registered with VCC to our BCIT community and encourage you to register for upcoming classes to avoid any delays in your education.”
Currently, there are four apprenticeship paths within the Heavy Mechanical Trades, each with differing levels of technical training required. Training and certification to become a Heavy Duty Equipment Technician (HDET), for example, is a four-year program which involves 840 hours of technical training and 6,360 hours of work based training. Students gain essential hands-on experience by working on a range of equipment systems and at the end of their apprenticeship earn an Interprovincial Red Seal Endorsement stating that they have met the national standard in their trade. According to the 2021 BC Apprenticeship Student Outcomes Survey, 98% of BCIT graduates reported finding employment following their HDET apprenticeship.
“As one of the largest trades training providers in Western Canada, I’m proud to see the success of our apprentices and their contribution to support strategic workforce development and economic recovery in BC,” says Steve Perry, Dean at the BCIT School of Transportation.