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$210k boost for BC Hydro to train 224 powerline technicians


September 19, 2016
By Renée Francoeur


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September 19, 2016 – The British Columbia government is funnelling $210,000 through the Industry Training Authority (ITA) to train 224 powerline technicians at BC Hydro.

“Powerline technicians keep the lights on in B.C. As the population grows and the economy expands, we will need more technicians to build and maintain the electricity system,” said BC Hydro’s Mark Poweska. “This is a crucial skill set, and this funding from [ITA] will help to train powerline technicians working for BC Hydro and private contractors.”

BC Hydro says it uses a 3-D applications tool to allow powerline technician apprentices to build, test, troubleshoot and simulate work on equipment, including voltage regulators and transformers. Apprentices can build transformer banks on a “virtual” distribution line, communicate to an instructor for feedback and practise complex work procedures using 3-D simulation in the classroom prior to applying their skills in the training yards.

Additionally, BC Hydro’s Trades Training Centre in Surrey—which opened in April 2013—is a certified education institution providing technical and trades training for both BC Hydro and non-BC Hydro trainees. It includes classrooms, lab spaces, workshops, a mock substation and training yards with overhead and underground lines.

The investment covers seats in the program through to March 31, 2017.