Friday, June 23, 2017

Camosun leases off-campus building for trades training

May 17, 2017 by Adam Marsh, student editor 

Camosun College has leased a new building for trades training, but it’s not at Interurban, and it’s not at Lansdowne. The Camosun Coastal Centre, which is located on Songhees Nation Territory near the Esquimalt Graving Dock, will provide a place for Camosun students enrolled in marine-related contract training courses to further their knowledge in a hands-on way.

Camosun vice president of partnerships Geoff Wilmshurst says that the new 4,000-square-foot training centre consists of a computer lab and two classrooms that can hold 40 students each.

“The Coastal Centre is an opportunity for Camosun to have a closer interaction with marine industries in the Victoria area,” says Wilmshurst. “The Songhees have leased a portion of their land to the federal government and we, therefore, are leasing the land from the federal government.”

Camosun College vice president of partnerships Geoff Wilmshurst (photo by Greg Pratt/Nexus).

The building was constructed about five years ago under the name Industrial Marine Training and Research Centre; Wilmshurst says that, by leasing the building, Camosun is taking on “training relationships with many of the marine industries in the region.”

“Many of the big companies, like Seaspan, Babcock Canada, and BC Ferries, as an example, are either working in the graving dock area or have some sort of facility down there, so they’re often looking for specialized training programs in the marine industry, which we will now be able to offer them.”

The Camosun Coastal Centre could also result in a new source of revenue for the college, with companies offering programming and the college offering Continuing Education courses there.

“We’re starting to offer programming in supply chain management,” says Wilmshurst. “APICS, which is a supply chain management organization, has come to us. We’re now offering APICS training out of that space, and that’s the kind of thing we want to do in the future.”

Wilmshurst stresses that it’s important to remember that this learning space caters to a group of students who benefit from hands-on workplace training.

“This is a different student group that we’re dealing with. This is not your everyday student who comes to Interurban or Lansdowne that’s in a program, per se,” says Wilmshurst. “It’s really much more focused on what we call contract training and continuing education. Students that we’re looking after there are primarily people who are already working and in industry that are looking for upgrading opportunities. We already do a lot of that kind of thing at Camosun. We have a very big Continuing Education program here and we do a lot of contract training as well. This facility gives us more capacity to do that and more ability to be specialized in the marine industry.”

Wilmshurst adds that he has always felt continuing education opportunities like these are a great fit to Camosun, so when the previous lease holder and owner of the building approached him, he just couldn’t pass it up.

“I thought, ‘Wow, what an amazing opportunity for Camosun to be able to have a footprint in that world,’” says Wilmshurst.

Correction: A previous version of this story identified APICS as Apex. We apologize for the mistake.

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