RRC Polytech launches ‘Quick Train’ microcredential programs
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Trevor Nott uses a “ground up” approach.
Meaning, he’s hiring technicians with the expectation they’ll need to be trained from the ground up on electric vehicle repairs.
“These vehicles… are basically computers on wheels,” said Nott, the founder of Nott Autocorp.
The dealership has sold Teslas and other electric vehicles since 2013. Ten years later, it’s still difficult to find technicians, Nott said.
He’s applauding a new microcredential Red River College Polytechnic launched — a 70-hour course on electric vehicle technology, one of six free microcredentials the post-secondary announced Wednesday.
The microcredentials, which are funded in tandem with those of 13 other Canadian post-secondaries, focus on sustainability. They’re called Quick Train courses.
“The EV (electric vehicle) market is certainly not going to shrink,” Nott said. “Everything is mandated towards that growth.”
Canada has a goal of hitting net-zero emissions by 2050. The feds will require electric vehicle sales to consume at least 20 per cent of new vehicle sales by 2026, and 100 per cent by 2035.
Nott Autocorp is regularly hiring, Nott said.
“There’s always a demand for technicians,” he said. “Especially if they have some EV experience or training, they can become invaluable.”
The knowledge to work on Teslas and other electric vehicles is ever evolving. It requires ongoing training at the dealership, Nott said.
The world of sustainability and technology is changing “so quickly” — hence the need for microcredentials, said Christine Watson, Red River College Polytechnic’s vice-president academic.
The Manitoba institute joined a coalition of schools focusing on Canada’s transition to a low-carbon economy roughly two years ago.
The group of 14, called the Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery, announced $46.5 million in funding from Ottawa for microcredential programs.
Red River College Polytechnic is launching three microcredentials on environmental technology and three on social innovation, which involves relationship building with Indigenous groups.
Courses range from 25 to 70 hours, online to in-person, and weekday to evening sessions.
“We needed, as post-secondary institutions, a way to get training to the people that need it and the employers that need it in a really flexible format,” Watson said.
Around 170 Canadians have filled the six courses, though more sections will open in the coming months, said Emily Doer, Red River College Polytechnic’s communications manager.
The school’s microcredentials are open to all Canadians who meet course requirements. Similarly, Manitobans can enrol in the 28 microcredential courses Canada’s other participating post-secondaries are offering.
Nova Scotia Community College is touting a housing construction fundamentals program; the British Columbia Institute of Technology will teach drone essentials for a green economy.
The coalition, led by Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ont., will add courses throughout the year.
“As Canada strives to meet its 2050 net-zero emissions target, there will be significant demand for professionals skilled in green building design, construction and deep-carbon retrofits,” Thomas Mueller, the Canada Green Building Council’s CEO, stated in a news release.
Jobs in Canada’s green buildings sector are forecasted to grow to 1.5 million by 2030, the council estimates.
The Manitoba Labour Market Outlook highlights the transportation and warehousing industry as the fastest growing — at 21 per cent — from 2021 through 2025.
The document projects 2,300 job openings for automotive service technicians and mechanics during the four-year span. It labels the forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas sector the second fastest growing, at 18 per cent.
“We know that… the green economy or sustainability is only going to get more popular through economic growth (and) social development,” RRC Polytech’s Watson said.
A list of microcredentials is available at quicktraincanada.ca.
Gabby is a big fan of people, writing and learning. She graduated from Red River College’s Creative Communications program in the spring of 2020.