North Island College is one of 19 schools in B.C. getting an equipment upgrade.

It’s part of a $3 million funding boost from the provincial government. NIC saw $160,000 to bring in new, industry-standard technology and trades equipment, such as lab hardware for its interactive media programs.

“State-of-the-art equipment and facilities are a cornerstone of the quality trades and tech education North Island College provides. We’re setting our students up to meet their career goals and meeting community needs for more skilled trades and tech workers on Vancouver Island,” said NIC president John Bowman.

Trades and technology workers are in high demand. The 2018 B.C. Labour Market Outlook projects about 82,300 tech-related job openings and about 71,000 trades openings in the province in the next decade.

“For trades and technology students, equipment and tools are as essential as textbooks. Our government is delivering results for the students and employers in the Comox Valley. This new equipment will help North Island College students get the skills they need for exciting futures in growing fields in their communities,” pointed out Courtenay-Comox MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard.

“Our government’s investments in new equipment are truly an investment in the students of North Island College. Up-to-date equipment is crucial to build the hands-on skills that are so important in technology and trades. This is an investment both in equipment and the students’ future careers,” added North Island MLA Claire Trevena.

The provincial government says the $3 million in equipment builds on the $5.4 million that was provided to 15 post-secondary institutions for trades and technology equipment in 2017.