Canadians will be better equipped for the well-paying middle-class jobs of today and tomorrow as a result of a federal and provincial investment of $16.18 million in Selkirk College.

The investment comes in addition to $600,000 in federal funding for the project from Western Economic Diversification Canada. Selkirk College is contributing $1.04 million, with a further $1.08 million coming from donations and industry sources.

The joint federal-provincial investment was announced today by the Honourable Navdeep Bains, federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Andrew Wilkinson, Minister of Advanced Education for the Province of British Columbia.

Canada’s Innovation Agenda aims to make this country a global centre for innovation — one that creates jobs, drives growth across all industries and improves the lives of all Canadians. This investment exemplifies that vision in action.

The funding will support the Silver King Trades Campus Renewal project, which will encompass the repurposing of three existing buildings. The project will include the demolition of an old cafeteria and administrative services building and the construction of a new building for the cafeteria, multi-purpose open-study area and an Aboriginal gathering place at Selkirk College. Of the $16.18-million investment announced today, $5.84 million is being funded through the Government of Canada’s Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund and $10.34 million is being provided by the Government of British Columbia.

The Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund aims to enhance and modernize research facilities on Canadian campuses and improve the environmental sustainability of these facilities.

As a result of these investments, students, professors and researchers will work in state-of-the-art facilities that advance the country’s best research. They will collaborate in specially designed spaces that support lifelong learning and skills training. They will work in close proximity with partners to turn discoveries into products or services. In the process, they will train for—and invent—the high-value jobs of the future. Their discoveries will plant the seeds for the next generation of innovators.

The Strategic Investment Fund will jump-start a virtuous circle of innovation, creating the right conditions for long-term growth that will yield benefits for generations to come.

The $10.34 million in provincial funding for the Silver King campus project is part of the B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint commitment to invest $185 million in trades training facilities and equipment.

The 2025 Labour Market Outlook for B.C. estimates that many of the trades and technical occupations will remain in-demand throughout the province to 2025. For example, the outlook estimates that there will be 10,300 job openings for carpenters, 4,600 job openings for electricians and 3,300 for construction millwrights and industrial mechanics to 2025.