Marine fitting now a program choice for Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows students

October 25, 2023

By Colleen Flanagan, The Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows News

A new marine fitter course has been added the trades programs being offered at School District 42 thanks to a generous donation to the British Columbia Institute of Technology, (BCIT).

The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation, in conjunction with Seaspan and Southern Railway of BC, donated $5.527 million to BCIT to establish a new Trades Foundation for Youth Program which will see technical training at four high schools in four different communities for in-demand skilled trades.

Programs will be offered to students in Grades 11 and 12, in piping, electrical, metal fabrication, and marine fitting.

Samuel Roberson Technical’s Metal Fabrication program will have the Marine Fitting component added the the course.

This will remove barriers to students taking the Metal Fabrication program, said Brad Dingler, trades and apprenticeship coordinator for SD42, noting the money will cover things like tuition, text books and travel costs for the next seven years.

“The cost of the program was becoming prohibitive. Because of our location and ongoing costs,” explained Dingler, noting the program has room for 16 students per year.

He explained there are big costs to bus students between the shared campuses – in the school district and the post secondary institutions. Transportation costs alone was crippling the program, making it unsustainable to operate as students have to be bussed for seven weeks to the BCIT campus in Burnaby specifically to complete the metal fabrication program. Now another three weeks has been added for Marine Fitting.

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