Heavy Mechanical Trades instructor, Craig Hull, helps mature students succeed

    • Prince George
  • April 28, 2021
Craig Hull

If you’re considering a fresh start as a heavy duty mechanic – even if you’ve been out of school for a while – Craig Hull wants to hear from you.

“Come and look at our shop and talk to me,” says Hull, an instructor in the College of New Caledonia’s Heavy Mechanical Trades foundation program. “Call me up and I’ll explain the whole process to you and explain what it’s about and get rid of all those fears.”

The Heavy Mechanical Trades foundation program is an initial stepping stone into a career as a heavy duty equipment technician, diesel engine mechanic or truck and transport mechanic. The program runs for 36 weeks and is open to anyone, including those 30-somethings who never considered themselves good students and jumped quickly into the working world.

“We like them because they’ve gone out there and they’ve done the things they’ve thought they wanted to do in their life and realized that maybe the monetary rewards aren’t quite what they thought they were going to be,” Hull says. “So they’re looking for something new they can do, something they have to train for, as opposed to just kind of falling into an industry and hopefully making enough money to do what they want to do.

“We work on a UDL platform, which is Universal Delivery Learning, so there are multiple ways that students can learn,” Hull adds. “It’s not like the old high school days where you sat there and listened, and if you didn’t listen you failed. You don’t fail here.”

Hull is approaching his 18th year as a teacher in the CNC program and, in his experience, the 30-somethings do very well.

“It’s like working with apprentices because they are very motivated,” he says. “They’re on the ball, they want to go, they want to work. They’re like sponges, trying to absorb as much knowledge as they can. I could live off their excitement. In a conversation with them, it’s almost like they’re waiting for the bubble to pop, and it’s not like that. This is something they can come in and do, and they get support.”

Hull – one of six instructors – says it’s not uncommon to have students in the program who are in their 40s. One, he says, was 64.

The program is based at the Finning Heavy Mechanical Trades Training Facility, a state-of-the-art building on CNC’s Prince George campus. A typical day goes from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., starting with a couple hours of classroom time and moving into hands-on learning in the shop.

While the Heavy Mechanical Trades foundation program is not a job placement program, students normally find work before the end of the 36 weeks. Upon successful completion of the foundation program, they receive credit with the Industry Training Authority (ITA) and can then register as an apprentice with the ITA.

For more information on the Heavy Mechanical Trades foundation program, contact Hull via email at hullc@cnc.bc.ca or call him at 250-562-2131, extension 5633.

Next start date: Spring 2021

Fees: Estimated at $4,489

Learn More about the Heavy Mechanical Trades Program

Read more about the program, admission requirements, and learn how to apply.


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