The Government of Alberta announced it is investing $43 million to plan the Advanced Skills Centre (ASC) at NAIT, training an additional 4,200 apprentices yearly.

The ASC will deliver the most comprehensive, leading-edge apprenticeship and technology-based education in the world, focused on training in four key sectors: construction, transportation, manufacturing, and energy.

“Alberta is leading the way in skills and trades education. The Advanced Skills Centre at NAIT will see more apprentices trained in four sectors critical to our economy, while fostering innovation not just in the Edmonton region, but throughout northern Alberta and beyond,” said Rajan Sawhney, Minister of Advanced Education.

Planning funds will help prepare for construction, which will start in 2025. The centre will add 640,000 square feet of new, state-of-the-art learning space to NAIT’s main campus and support the evolution and growth of programming over time, allowing NAIT to meet emerging needs to support Alberta’s diverse and competitive industries.

“This funding from Alberta’s government acknowledges the crucial role of skilled trades in the economy and NAIT’s role in delivering apprenticeship education that is essential for our province’s prosperity. In collaboration with industry and the community, NAIT is set to modernize and expand our training capabilities. This is an investment in our vision, setting the stage for Alberta’s future,” said Laura Jo Gunter, president and CEO, NAIT.

“With so many projects on the horizon, the province’s future has never looked brighter. This state-of-the art facility goes a long way to ensuring we have the workforce we need today to build the infrastructure we need tomorrow,” said Jason Idler, chief operating officer, Heavy Industrial, PCL Construction.

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“NAIT’s new Advanced Skills Centre will directly support Alberta’s economic future. To help ensure corporate investment, industry needs learning spaces that can pivot to serve labour market needs, an interdisciplinary approach that better equips learners for a dynamic and changing workplace, and in higher numbers to serve a growing market. Inter Pipeline thinks this is a step in the right direction,” said Brendan Curley, vice-president, Heartland, Petrochemical Complex Operations, Inter Pipeline.

This investment is crucial for ensuring students and faculty have access to the most up-to-date learning and training spaces. In some cases, purpose-built facilities at NAIT are more than 60 years old and have reached their end of life, requiring replacement. When construction is completed, the Advanced Skills Centre will include flexible and adaptable learning spaces that can be expanded to accommodate program growth or the introduction of new programs to meet labour market demand.

Featured image: (Government of Alberta)

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