Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) has launched a new course to meet the strong demand for qualified workers to maintain the network that safely delivers water to homes and businesses.
The Introduction to Public Works course offered by Continuing and Professional Studies at KPU provides students with entry-level hands-on experience in the installation, maintenance and repair of water, sewer and storm drain systems.
“KPU has listened closely to the needs of the water industry and is delighted to be launching this course to meet the need for new workers who understand the basics of public works,” says Dr. Sal Ferreras, KPU’s provost and vice-president, academic. “The Introduction to Public Works course carefully blends teaching students the practical skills needed to join the field with an understanding of the safety requirements involved.”
As water is one of the essentials for life, it’s vital that new employees into public works understand the safety needs of the role. Through the Introduction to Public Works course, students gain an understanding of the laws and regulations that underpin safe utilities and working practices.
“We are very encouraged to see KPU develop a water training program,” says Tim Lambert, executive director of Health Protection at the B.C. Ministry of Health. “B.C. needs trained people to operate and maintain the water network and this aligns with our strategic goal of ensuring people have access to safe drinking water. We look forward in working with KPU to ensure this is a successful program.”
Cities, municipalities, townships and private contractors are looking for workers in the rewarding field of public works.
“Industry projections suggest that by 2030, B.C. will need more than 3,000 new public works employees to meet staffing needs driven by system growth and retirements,” said Peter Navratil, general manager of Liquid Waste Services at Metro Vancouver. “Metro Vancouver is doing its part to provide the infrastructure, services and big-picture planning that underlie a sustainable and prosperous region, but we cannot reach our goals without a skilled workforce on the ground. That’s why we’re happy to support initiatives like KPU’s new Introduction to Public Works course, which will help set more students on the path to meaningful and rewarding careers in public utilities.”
After successfully completing the course, students will receive a Record of Achievement from KPU’s Continuing and Professional Studies department that shows prospective employers across B.C. that they have the right grounding for a career in public works.