A new state-of-the-art learning lab on Nelson’s Silver King Campus is providing Electrical Apprenticeship Program students the opportunity to connect the wires on the education needed to complete formal training.
The new Electrical Program lab on Nelson’s Silver King Campus offers students the most modern equipment and environment for training. Electrical Program instructors (L-R) AJ Wearmouth, Dave Briggeman and Travis Henne are ready to welcome students to train through a mixture in-person and virtual delivery.
Selkirk College’s $300,000 upgrade to its electrical lab was finished in 2019 with new equipment and a bright classroom setting allowing learners in Levels 1, 2, 3 and 4 to fulfill their Industry Training Authority (ITA) technical training hours. With a sparkling shine on one of the most modern post-secondary electrical labs in the province, students in the apprenticeship levels are able to study with a mix of in-person and virtual delivery.
“It feels great to enter this dedicated lab space and have such high quality equipment available to students,” says Electrical Program instructor AJ Wearmouth. “It solidifies the learning and the lightbulbs literally go on.”
Part of the Bigger Picture at Silver King
A recent $23 million refresh of the Silver King Campus transformed the shop and classroom spaces in a facility that first opened in 1964 as the BC Vocational School. Though the electrical lab was not included in the project that was completed in 2019, additional upgrades continue to revamp the campus into a modern facility that covers a wide spectrum of trades training.
The new lab space provides a variety of the latest training equipment including this solar/wind energy system that dives into an important element of sector.
Students working towards their Red Seal certification require four levels of formal technical training that last 10 weeks each. During lab days, students work on the equipment that also includes the latest training technology in solar and wind power.
“The old lab required significant set-up by the instructor and was clearly getting outdated,” says Dave Briggeman, an Electrical Program instructor at the Silver King Campus since 2005. “With this modern dedicated lab, now we walk in here and it’s all set up ready to go. This provides a better learning atmosphere for both the students and the instructors.”
New Space Provides Safe Learning Environment
Though not the original intent, the new lab space has ample room to allow for strict COVID-19 health and safety protocols to be followed. With individual stations and computers set apart at a required distance, students are able to attend in-person labs. Training that does not require a hands-on component is completed both on campus in a virtual classroom with instructors providing lectures and supports via Zoom.
The new lab spaces provide enough space for students to train that adheres to COVID-19 health and safety regulations.
Selkirk College has been conducting its Electrical Foundation Program with a cohort of 12 students since early-August. Like other trades programs currently operating out of the Silver King Campus with a mix of in-person and online delivery, students are motivated to overcome challenges presented by the pandemic as they pursue their careers.
“The class I have now is very respectful to the protocols we have in place,” says Travis Henne, an Electrical Foundation Program instructor who is also a Selkirk College alumnus. “They all want to be here and they all want to become electricians. I’m impressed by their determination and how they are adapting to a modified learning environment that still includes a significant amount of in-person training.”
Selkirk College is currently accepting applications for Level 1 and Level 3 programs that run from October 13 to December 18 with Level 2 and Level 4 starting on January 4 and running until March 12, 2021. More information about this intake and future offerings can be found here.