New building will support skilled trades education
Whitby, ON – Durham College (DC) is pleased to announce construction has begun on the Phase IV expansion at its Whitby campus, which has been designed to shine a spotlight on skilled trades training, innovation and education.
Given the skilled labour shortage at the regional, provincial and national level, the timing of this new project could not be better. Skills Canada estimates that one million skilled workers will be needed across Canada by 2020 and that 40 per cent of new jobs created in the next decade will be in skilled trades. Colleges Ontario forecasts that by 2030 the province will face a skilled labour shortage of more than 500,000 workers.
“The college continuously hears from its partners that they need more skilled workers and would like new programs developed to focus on emerging industries,” said Don Lovisa, president, Durham College. “Yet in spite of our current efforts, the ability to keep up with the demand remains a challenge due to the physical space constraints at the Whitby campus. For example, the student population has increased by 130 per cent increase in the past 10 years.”
When it comes to skilled trades at DC, data from the last three years was recently studied, looking at seats available compared to applications for nine trades programs. It was found there were approximately 2,400 seats available, yet the college received approximately 7,000 applications for these programs.
Industry needs and wants more skilled employees, and students want to develop those proficiencies, yet neither of those desires can be effectively fulfilled within the current campus footprint.
To address this demand, the college has been undertaking development and diversification in Whitby since 2009. Phase IV will result in a 60,000 sq. ft. expansion, allowing DC to increase its student intake in Whitby by 700 to 750 over three to five years.
“More space will allow the college to focus on high-priority industries – DC’s post-secondary Electrical Engineering Technician, Electrical Techniques, Mechanical Technician – Elevating Devices and Mechanical Techniques – Plumbing programs, as well as the Electrician – Construction and Maintenance, Elevating Devices Mechanic and Plumber apprenticeship programs,” said Rebecca Milburn, executive dean of the School of Skilled Trades, Apprenticeship and Renewable Technology and principal at the Whitby campus. “Once complete, this expansion will significantly increase DC’s industrial skilled trades training capacity, while also creating more opportunities to participate in applied research projects to advance innovation and knowledge.”
The following are some of the unique features of the expansion:
- A double-height shop lab to address the specialized needs of both the mechanical and construction programs. Home to a two-storey building model, the lab will allow plumbing students to work underneath it while elevating devices students will be able to work in an easily accessible dual-level elevator shaft.
- Classrooms with moveable walls and furniture to accommodate various configurations.
- Training labs with dedicated space and equipment for a range of post-secondary and apprenticeship programs.
- Student touchdown spaces.
- A fitness centre.
- A food services facility.
Partnering with DC to help fund the expansion is the Town of Whitby, who is generously contributing $1 million over a five-year period to support the construction. A Building for Skills capital campaign will also be launched shortly to generate additional donations.
More information about the Phase IV expansion, as well as construction progress updates can be found atwww.durhamcollege.ca/skills.
About Durham College
At Durham College (DC), the student experience comes first. With campuses in Oshawa and Whitby and a learning site in Pickering, we offer approximately 13,400 full-time post-secondary and apprenticeship students access to more than 140 full-time and nine apprenticeship programs, including the Honours Bachelor of Behavioural Science and Honours Bachelor of Health Care Technology Management.
We enable students to develop the career-ready skills required to meet the demands of today’s job market by connecting them with expert faculty and offering quality programs. With a focus on experiential learning through field-placements, applied research, co-ops and other hands-on opportunities, DC grads have the skills and knowledge employers need.
The Oshawa campus features DC’s newest building, the Centre for Collaborative Education, which represents the college’s commitment to working with local business and community partners while bringing together local, Indigenous and global communities and members of key business sectors.
DC’s Whitby campus is home to the Skills Training Centre, where students receive hands-on training and instruction in industrial-grade shop labs for carpentry, HVAC, welding, elevating devices and crane operation, among others. The campus also features the W. Galen Weston Centre for Food, which includes Bistro ’67, a full-service, teaching-inspired restaurant, and Pantry, a retail store featuring food prepared by students in the college’s culinary programs.
For more information, visit www.durhamcollege.ca or call 905.721.2000.