The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC (APEGBC) applauds the announcement of B.C. government funding to the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) to develop two new masters programs in wood engineering and design. These programs will be offered at the new Wood Innovation and Design Centre in Prince George. UNBC is a world-class institution and provides outstanding learning opportunities as one of Canadas best small universities.
The addition of skills training opportunities in northern B.C. is an important step forward in positioning British Columbia as a leader in wood engineering and innovation. This is welcome news for the city of Prince George, the province, and the engineering profession.
Engineers are a key part of the economy in northern B.C., where industry is largely resource based. For students looking to pursue careers in engineering, it is essential to provide them with access to local training opportunities that will not only provide them with the necessary skills and education, but will also allow them to stay in an area where jobs in their field are in high demand. We also know programs like this attract highly-qualified students who then often stay following graduation, having put down roots in the community.
In addition to programs like this, APEGBC also feels engineering programs offered at UNBC need to be expanded to include programs such as civil and mechanical engineering undergraduate programs. These undergraduate programs would further support post-secondary education and skills training in the North, where labour market studies show a critical shortage of skilled engineers and trained professionals in the region. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with Government on the important work envisioned in the B.C. Jobs Plan of creating long-term jobs, investment in B.C., and strengthening our economy.
APEGBC is the regulatory body responsible for the practice of professional engineering and geoscience under the authority of the Engineers and Geoscientists Act by setting and maintaining high academic, experience and professional practice standards for all members. With more than 29,000 members we are one of the largest professional associations in B.C. Our core mandate is to uphold and protect the public interest through regulation and leadership of the professions. This includes supporting skill training and labour market development to ensure continued economic development for the province of British Columbia.
By positioning engineering students for success, we in turn ensure that the engineering profession will continue to thrive, and provide innovative solutions for the province of British Columbia in the years to come
Chief executive officer and registrar