NIC instructor Matt Melgaard with a carpentry student. SUBMITTED PHOTO

North Island College’s carpentry program returning to Port Alberni

Information session will take place Oct. 8

Port Alberni North Island College students will be able to learn carpentry skills in a returning program this winter.

NIC will be once again be offering the Carpentry Foundation Harmonized certificate program in Port Alberni starting in February.

Prospective students can learn more at an information session on Tuesday, Oct. 8 at 4:30 p.m. in room S108 at NIC’s Port Alberni campus.

The program teaches students carpentry skills for residential framing, footing and wall forming, site layout, along with work site safety skills. Students also earn apprenticeship technical training credit towards their Interprovincial (Red Seal) certification.

“We’re pleased to be bringing the Carpentry Foundation certificate back to Port Alberni,” said Cheryl O’Connell, dean of trades and technical programs. “We saw high demand for this training when it was last run in 2018, so we expect the seats to fill quickly.”

Matt Melgaard, NIC carpentry instructor and interim director of trades and technical services, will be returning to Port Alberni to teach the program. Melgaard taught the offering in 2018.

“Last time we held it, all the graduates had immediate success getting work,” said Melgaard. “They’re all busy working in the industry today and progressing in their apprenticeships.”

There are 16 seats available for the February start. The program will be open to both regular students and to high school students through the Youth Train in Trades program.

“The Youth Train in Trades program is an opportunity for high school students to earn their foundation certificate while still in high school,” said Melgaard. “It’s a great chance to explore the trades and get a jump start on your apprenticeship.”

According to WorkBC, construction is now the third largest employer on Vancouver Island and that is expected to continue as the population grows on the Island.

“There’s a huge demand for carpenters, especially those with experience,” said Melgaard.

Applications for the February start are open now. To learn more, or to apply, visit

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