Tuition-free automotive and collision training starts Nov. 1

Limited seats are available for NIC’s Automotive Collision and Refinishing Technician Foundation Harmonized program starting Nov. 1. Tuition for the program is fully funded.

Time is running out for those seeking a trades-focused career to enrol in fully funded training in the growing auto sector.

NIC’s new Automotive Collision and Refinishing Technician Foundation Harmonized program starts Nov. 1 and still has a limited number of seats available.

The program offers free tuition, hands-on training, employer connections and significant career opportunities for those interested in making cars look like new.

“Auto body and refinishing shops are always looking for hard-working, competent people who have the skills and who know how to get the job done the second they walk through the door,” said instructor Mike Hemingway. “This training gives you that foothold and helps get you started in a really satisfying career with an apprenticeship right away.”

“One of the best parts of working in this profession is the satisfaction you get when a vehicle comes into the shop in poor condition and leaves looking like a million bucks. There’s a lot of dignity in the work.”

Students earn practical skills at NIC’s Campbell River campus and industry experience at CSN-Reliable Auto Body in Courtenay.

“I want to thank CSN-Reliable Auto Body Ltd. who has partnered with us to enrich student learning,” said Cheryl O’Connell, NIC’s dean of trades and technical programs. “Their valuable partnership is exactly the kind of community support that makes local trades training possible on the North Island.”

According to the BC 2019 Labour Market Outlook, motor vehicle body repairers will be among the top in-demand trades with almost 1,300 job openings throughout the province from now until 2029. Employees typically start well above minimum wage, with more experienced technician wages approaching $37 per hour, the report says.

Program graduates will be able to assess and create plans to repair automotive collision damage and apply coatings, while earning Level 1 technical training credit and work-based training hours toward their Red Seal (interprovincial) certification in one of two trades – automotive refinishing or auto body and collision.

Program funding is provided by the Government of Canada through the Canada-British Columbia Workforce Development Agreement.

The funding covers eligible applicants’ tuition and fees. All the required tools and gear will also be provided to students free of charge during the program.

Interested students should apply as soon as possible. For more information, visit or email to get started.

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