April 30, 2014 by STAFF REPORT
Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) is allocating $1.4 million to the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST) to upgrade its industrial equipment and computer technology in seven training programs at its four campuses.
The funding from WD, a department of the Government of Canada, will help address the high demand for skilled workers in Saskatchewan and Western Canada in areas experiences shortages.
SIAST will use the money to buy a new tractor, two forklifts, engines, hoists, computer diagnostic equipment, welders, digital meters, sanders and other specialized equipment.
The equipment upgrades will provide better training opportunities for students in the following programs: Agricultural Machinery Technician, Automotive Service Technician and Heavy Equipment Truck and Transport.
Some of the apprenticeship programs may be able to accommodate increased enrolment. The extra cash could allow SIAST to train an additional 490 skilled workers over two years.
SIAST apprenticeship training has seen a 72 per cent increase over the last seven years. In 2013-2014, SIAST trained 5,726 new apprentices compared with 3,292 trained in 2007-2008.