Oakville bids adieu to Skills Training Centre


Sheridan College’s Skills Training Centre in Oakville will close its doors at the end of 2015, but will reopen in a new state-of-the-art building at the Brampton Campus in 2016.

“We plan on having the tender out by fall this year and ground breaking by 2015, so we can open the campus in fall 2016 along with HMC phase two,” said Sheridan President Jeff Zabudsky in an interview.

It is an essential move that took a little too long to execute, Zabudsky said.

Since he became president four years ago, he had concerns about the lack of student services at STC. His aim as president has been to provide an equitable experience for all students, he said.

The new STC will also be adding three new diploma programs in electrical, plumbing and welding starting in fall 2016.

“We’ve never been able to give those services, such as athletics, counsellors, and other student life activities to our students at STC,” he said.

The Skills Training Centre is home to five trade courses: Electrical Techniques, Welding Techniques, Mechanical Technician: Tool and Die Maker, Plumbing and Tool Making.

The campus, on Iroquois Road, also offers part-time and full-time apprenticeship training programs in 10 different fields.

“It’s going to be an enormous job,” said Alan Reid, STC’s associate dean. “Eventually everything is going to be moved.”

Zabudsky said the move will not only connect the STC with the bigger Sheridan organization but also better align the skilled trades with technologies. Students in the engineering technologies program at Brampton have to sometimes work on machines that are located at STC. The move to Brampton will help skilled trades with the technologies align well as they will be beside each other.

“The move is presenting options to students,” said Zabudsky. He hopes that putting the STC student closer to related programs will encourage them to continue their education at Sheridan.

Craig Hoo, 21, in the Tool and Die Making program, says it may mean rethinking the commute route and options.

Fellow student Kevin Carroll, enrolled in the Electrical Techniques program, says he’s graduating in three weeks, so the move will not affect him.

To get a licence in a trade, students are required to do an apprenticeship. The length of time depends on the program.

“Apprenticeships have increased in demand,” said Reid.

“The reality is, in order to get an apprenticeship, you need experience and our training program will give you that.”

To help teach the students, STC has the latest equipment and machines used in the trades the students are learning.

“Everything will be moved to the new location. I don’t know how they plan to do it,” said Reid.

He doesn’t know how long the move will take, but says it will have to be planned well so students’ won’t lose any semesters for their education.

Students currently enrolled in programs at the STC will be affected by the move, while graduating students will remain unaffected.

Sheridan has owned the current STC location since 2004 and plans to sell the building eventually.

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