Brian Zinchuk is editor and owner of Pipeline Online
On Nov. 17, the Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) and North West College announced a new, innovative plastic welding pilot program that will be the first-of-its-kind in Saskatchewan. This exciting collaboration represents a significant step forward in addressing the growing demand for skilled professionals in the field of plastics welding.
In fall 2023, SRC worked collaboratively with North West College to develop a plastic welding pilot program which the college has now successfully turned into a value-added, micro-credential program, geared to individuals looking to expand their welding capabilities.
This program includes short-term, focused training that equips students with the specialized skills required for welding polyvinyl chloride (PVC) materials. PVC welding is a critical skill in industries such as construction, manufacturing and infrastructure development.
“This government is dedicated to supporting training initiatives, like this one, that foster specialized professional development,” Minister Responsible for SRC Jeremy Harrison said. “This program will help train a new generation of specialized plastic welders, growing Saskatchewan’s manufacturing and fabrication workforce, offering exciting career options in technology, engineering and construction fields.”
Students in the non-credit, two-week micro-credential program will have access to state-of-the-art welding equipment and facilities at North West College’s Meadow Lake campus. In the pilot stage of the program, students will also have the opportunity to practice their new skills at SRC’s solvent extraction fabrication facility in Saskatoon.
“SRC is proud of this collaboration and the opportunity to help train and offer a unique skillset to students at North West College,” SRC President and CEO Mike Crabtree said. “This specialized pilot program supports Saskatchewan employment and economic growth.”
The PVC welding micro-credential program welcomed its first cohort to participate in the pilot in fall 2023 and North West College is actively recruiting for spring 2024. Interested individuals are encouraged to visit the North West College website for more information.
“We are excited to collaborate with SRC on this ground-breaking initiative,” North West College President and CEO Dr. Eli Ahlquist said. “This PVC welding micro-credential program will not only provide our students with the skills they need to thrive in the workforce, but also contribute to the growth of industries that rely on PVC welding expertise.”
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