Keyano College is getting ready for its new temporary plumbing apprenticeship course.
On Tuesday, Minister of Advanced Education Marlin Schmidt was in Fort McMurray to announce the start of registration for the course for second-year apprentices.
Back in December, the Province first announced the temporary training course, providing up to $1 million.
The program will allow these students the opportunity to do their classroom work online and on their own schedule while giving them a mobile lab to allow them more time on-site. In a normal apprenticeship course, students would be in a classroom with hands-on training for eight weeks of full-time work.
“With the reconstruction efforts here in Fort McMurray, we need plumbers to help with the residential and commercial construction and so being able to provide mobile training now is a key component,” said Schmidt.
This will be the first plumbing course at Keyano. They currently offer different programs for carpentry, electrical, equipment operator, heavy equipment technician, welding, and millwright.
“Right now, we’re focused only on the plumbers training,” added Schmidt. “The system is designed to respond to student demand so if the student demand for other apprenticeship opportunities that aren’t currently offered here arise, we’ll look at options to meet that demand as well.”
Schmidt didn’t know the exact number of students expected to take part but did suggest the number could be around 10. Right now, the course does have one teacher, Brent Hydomako who is currently an instructor with the steamfitting, pipefitting course.
He tells Mix News there wasn’t a demand for a plumbing course until after the wildfire and the rebuilds started.
“Mostly up in here, the students were demanding more industrial trades and plumbing really, really goes for commercial and residential,” added Hydomako. “In a couple months’ time they’re going to be ready for a lot of plumbers to come in and to start doing the pipework, I say there is going to be a heavy demand.”
Registration will start on May 17 with the course starting in September. Hands-on training will start in November with actual on-site work happening near the end of the year.
If the demand is higher than expected then another session would be added in January.