Alberta invests $43M to build Advanced trades training facility

Officials stated the new facility will bring together all of its trades programs.

Key Takeaways:

  • Alberta is investing $43 million to plan a new Advanced Skills Centre (ASC) at NAIT.
  • The ASC aims to be a world-class facility providing apprenticeship training in construction, transportation, manufacturing and energy for an additional 4,200 apprentices per year.
  • This investment will create modern learning spaces and allow NAIT to consolidate and expand its skilled trades programs to better meet the needs of Alberta’s industries.

The Whole Story:

Alberta’s government is investing $43 million to plan the Advanced Skills Centre at NAIT, training an additional 4,200 apprentices yearly.

“This state-of-the-art facility will raise the profile of apprenticeship education and attract and graduate the workers the province needs,” said NAIT president and CEO Laura Jo Gunter. “By providing experiential training, NAIT will help ensure Alberta’s economy remains prosperous.”

Each year NAIT will see between 30,000 to 40,000 students enrolled in programs across its campuses. Of those students studying in full-time programs, well over 30% enrolled in apprenticeship and skilled trades programs.

Officials say the ASC will deliver the most comprehensive, leading-edge apprenticeship and technology-based education in the world, focused on training in four key sectors: construction, transportation, manufacturing, and energy.

Alberta officials announce new funding for NAIT. – Government of Alberta

“With so many projects on the horizon, the province’s future has never looked brighter,” said Jason Idler, chief operating officer, heavy industrial, PCL Construction. “This state-of-the art facility goes a long way to ensuring we have the workforce we need today to build the infrastructure we need tomorrow.”

Planning funds will help prepare for construction, which will start in 2025. The centre will add 640,000 square feet of new, state-of-the-art learning space to NAIT’s main campus and support the evolution and growth of programming over time, allowing NAIT to meet emerging needs to support Alberta’s diverse and competitive industries.

A rendering what the future facility will look like. – NAIT

This investment is crucial for ensuring students and faculty have access to the most up-to-date learning and training spaces. In some cases, purpose-built facilities at NAIT are more than 60 years old and have reached their end of life, requiring replacement. When construction is completed, the Advanced Skills Centre will include flexible and adaptable learning spaces that can be expanded to accommodate program growth or the introduction of new programs to meet labour market demand.

The ASC will also allow for the repatriation of programs that have been practicing in near isolation. Plumbers, for instance, have learned at Patricia Campus on Edmonton’s west end since the mid-1970s. Welders have been stationed at Souch Campus, in the south, since the late-’90s.

School officials say having them back on Main Campus will bring together all of its trades programs in ways that they have never considered. The structural flexibility of the ASC will also allow for select trades and technologies to be quickly ramped up, helping to provide an influx of skilled workers where they’re needed most.

NAIT officials and students celebrate the funding announcement. – NAIT


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