Portage College Launches Pre-Apprenticeship Heavy Equipment Technician (HET) Program
June 12, 2024

Portage College is excited to announce the launch of its new Pre-Apprenticeship Heavy Equipment Technician (HET) program, designed to provide students with the essential skills and knowledge to thrive in the trade industry. This unique approach begins with tailored academic upgrading to ensure each student has a strong foundation. Following this, students will gain hands-on experience and learn the essential skills in the Heavy Equipment Lab at the Lac La Biche Campus.

The Pre-Apprenticeship HET program is a blended program that includes online learning and hands-on training courses that offer a mix of classroom instruction and practical experience. Students will gain a deep understanding of heavy equipment systems, maintenance, and repair techniques, preparing them for successful entry into the workforce or further apprenticeship opportunities.

"The Pre-Apprenticeship Heavy Equipment Technician program provides valuable opportunities for individuals in Alberta to pursue a career in a high-demand trade,” says Stephanie Solarz, Dean of Foundational Learning, University Transfer, and Arts. “The program incorporates academic and career-focused skills, along with a work placement component that offers hands-on experience to prepare students for the industry.”

The introduction of the Pre-Apprenticeship HET program is timely, as there is a growing demand for skilled heavy equipment technicians driven by large investments in infrastructure projects in the province. “Our pre-apprenticeship pathways have been successful, offering students the foundational knowledge and skills to enter the trades and further trades training. We know that jobs in HET are in high demand, and we are excited to be able to expand the training opportunities to meet the needs in this region.” Says Dr. Donna Feledichuk, Vice President Academic and Research.

“Graduates of this program will be equipped with the necessary skills to secure employment as Heavy Equipment Technicians and establish a successful career,” says Solarz. “By receiving comprehensive training and practical exposure, participants will develop the confidence and competence needed to excel in this field.”

Enrollment for the Pre-Apprenticeship HET program is now open, with classes set to begin in September 2024. Prospective students and interested parties are encouraged to visit the Portage College website or contact the admissions office for more information.

Program Inquiries:
Portage College
780-623-5551 or email
Media Inquiries:
Corporate Communications Department
780-623-6671 or email 

We acknowledge that Portage College’s service region is on the traditional lands of First Nation Peoples, the owners of Treaty 6, 8 and 10, which are also homelands to the Métis people. We honour the history and culture of all people who first lived and gathered in these lands.
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