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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

While there’s a good likelihood participants will find work after completing their program, can someone explain why one will cost $18,000 per participant – and the other nearly double that at $37,000


Just two days ago, Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, announced that up to 25 British Columbians, affected by the downturn in the forest sector, were going to receive training and work experience in asphalt paving and heavy construction.


In making the announcement he commented that, “We know that heavy equipment operators and similar construction occupations will be in great demand over the next 10 years. 

The provincial government is working with industry and unions to hire trainees and provide training for new career path opportunities that will allow British Columbians to support themselves and their families”.

With a government grant of nearly half a million dollars ($450,000) the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 115, in partnership with Emil Anderson Construction, Dawson Blacktop and Dawson Group will be delivering road-building and heavy-construction training programs for 25 individuals from the Clearwater, Merritt, South Cariboo and Kamloops areas.

Participants' training will include classroom instruction in computer and communications skills, technical training in asphalt paving and heavy equipment operations, on-the-job work experience with an IUOE Local 115 signatory employer, and follow-up support and mentoring to help participants find jobs in the road-building and heavy-construction industry.

I wondered about the $450,000 investment, to train 25 people (works out to $18,000 per person), however one individual indicated to me that ...

18K ought to cover pay for instructors and students, plus some notional figure for classrooms, transportation, and use of heavy equipment. If one were to (arbitrarily) assign an all-in cost of $100-$125 per hour, then that might buy 4-5 weeks of a comprehensive course.

These educational features ought to provide a better base of knowledge than the once-standard, "Just jump up here beside me and I'll show you which levers to pull", old-school training. I would think that the combination of the two would make the successful students’ prime candidates for full-time work, and perhaps a new career in road-building.

Not to be left out, Doug Donaldson, whose leadership of the Forest’s Ministry has been greatly scrutinized as of late, stated ... “Our priority is supporting workers and their families when it comes to the challenges facing British Columbia’s forestry sector”. 


Then yesterday, in another announcement from Premier John Horgan’s NDP government, came news that ... ten women in the Lower Mainland will get training and work experience in the road-building industry, giving them opportunities for job success and improved lives, thanks to more than $370,000 in provincial government funding.

In this case, it will be the YWCA Metro Vancouver (YWCA), in partnership with the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 115, who will deliver the 25-week YWCA Breaking Ground Heavy Equipment Operator Training and Employment Program for Women.

So, here is my question ... or maybe questions?

Tuesdays announcement was to provide training for new career path opportunities that will allow British Columbians to support themselves and their families.  This program, for 25 individuals (both men and women) works out to, as I mentioned, $18,000 per person.

Yesterdays announcement, is for what appears to be the same type of training ... road building, heavy equipment operation, heavy construction, on-the-job work experience with an IUOE Local 115 signatory employer, personalized job placement and follow-up support with a YWCA job coach.

The cost for this however?  It’s $37,000 per person!

While I believe this type of training will be valuable, and that there will be a good likelihood of participant finding work after completing their program, can someone explain why one will cost $18,000 per participant – and the other nearly double that at $37,000.

Feel free to review the two announcements at:
“Roadwork training leads to jobs in the Interior”CLICK HERE
"Training program helps women secure road-building jobs" CLICK HERE

Maybe you’ll be able to see what I’ve missed that makes the costs of one, substantially higher than the other.

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