Beedie Luminaries has created a new trades scholarship program, committing more than $5.5 million to help students.


Adam Freill, (ON-SITE MAGAZINE) — Aiming to assist more than 285 students through some $5.5 million in funding, the BUILD scholarship fund was unveiled by Ryan Beedie, president of Beedie Luminaries, a social-profit enterprise that removes barriers to education and support for promising students facing financial adversity.

In its inaugural year, the program will support 25 students wishing to pursue a rewarding career in the skilled trades, but who are facing financial and other challenges. Each eligible student will receive up to $20,000 over four years, for a total commitment of up to $500,000 for the first cohort alone, including two scholarships funded by the RBC Women in Trades and Investment in Skills initiative.

The program will initially support students entering BCIT to pursue nationally designated certification programs under the Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program. As the program matures, the plan Is to more than double the number of recipients and expand to all 15 public post-secondary institutions offering trades programs in British Columbia.

“Skilled trades offer very rewarding careers,” said Beedie. “However, there is a significant shortage of skilled workers across B.C. and Canada. We believe creating the BUILD scholarship program is an important step in addressing that critical skills gap. The program also aligns with our corporate social responsibility promise of ‘Built for Good.’”

Beedie also holds a personal connection to the scholarship fund.

“My father built his first home in 1945 when he was only 19, laying the foundation for Beedie Construction, founded in 1954,” he explained. “To launch this new endeavour during our 70th anniversary is particularly meaningful, and we are grateful to our donors and partners, including the Independent Contractors and Business Association, BCIT, and RBC for investing with us in these aspiring trades people.”

Students will receive financial support for foundation training programs, each level of training, and upon completion of the Red Seal Certification. In addition, through the partnership with the Independent Contractors and Business Association, each student will be connected to a business for their apprenticeship, equipping them with the skills they need to launch fulfilling careers, which are in incredibly high demand.

Applications for the 2025 cohort will open in September, and eligible students can enroll in the carpenter, electrician (construction), plumber, welder or sheet metal worker trade programs at BCIT

“As the largest trades trainer in Western Canada BCIT knows how in-demand certified tradespeople are in this province,” stated BCIT president Jeff Zabudsky. “In the next 10 years, it’s estimated there will be almost 8,500 job openings for carpenters alone. Translate that demand across all trades, and you understand how critical these jobs are for the future of B.C.”

The BUILD program is Beedie Luminaries’ fifth scholarship stream, joining the SHINE (Soaring Higher IN Education) for Grade 12 students, RISE (Refugee and Immigrant Student Education), SPARK (Single Parent Award for Resilience and Knowledge) programs, and the Graduate Studies Award designed for Beedie Luminaries Alumni.

“Our mission is to remove barriers to education so students have access to the tools they need, including financial aid, mentors, student success managers, paid internships and ongoing support from the Beedie Luminaries community,” stated Beedie. “In just five years, hundreds of students across the province have now had the chance to pursue higher education with the support of Beedie Luminaries, and we look forward to welcoming our first BUILD cohort to the program.”

Launched in 2018 with a $50-million donation from Ryan Beedie, Beedie Luminaries has awarded 625 scholarships worth more than $27.5 million to-date, and is expected to award an additional 175 students this spring.


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