One of the more unexpected sights at the event is the crowds of young people strolling the halls of the Vancouver Convention Centre
Many of them are from BC’s north, brought here with funding help from the BC government. The investment - and the interest from students - highlights the acute demand for skills in BC’s potential LNG sector.
And, as one might expect, BC’s educational institutions are here in force. After speaking with the reps from different schools, it’s striking how differently they’re approaching the LNG sector’s education challenge.
The pitch to students
Schools such as the University of Northern BC (UNBC) are emphasizing their ability to offer targeted training to the LNG workforce. By highlighting its continuing studies programs, UNBC is speaking mostly to the students themselves, enticing them with specialty training in such areas as health and safety, environmental monitoring and project management.
The pitch to employers
The BC Institute of Technology (BCIT), on the other hand, has a sales pitch aimed more squarely at employers, offering tailored training services for companies looking to build up their workforce. Through its Corporate & Industry Training Services division, BCIT is asking companies what kinds of training they want to focus on and how they want it delivered.
At the BCIT booth, attendants emphasize that they aren’t only interested in training welders and pipe fitter, but also the accountants, supply-chain managers and human resource pros the sector will need.
The pitch for collaborative research
Over at the UBC tent, the message is all about research. UBC has diverse teams pursuing world-leading research into a range of geoscience topics, including sub-surface imaging, hydraulics, pipeline engineering and big-data analytics.
The UBC team is attending the conference so they can interact with industry and discover where there’s a real, practical need for research. The goal is not to make the university a laboratory for industry, but rather to make sure that the research pursued at UBC is as relevant to the real world as possible.
Peter Severinson is the research director for Resource Works
Photo by Government of BC