03/11/2015 02:48 EDT | Updated 05/11/2015 05:59 EDT

TRU student frustrated over cancelled classes

A spring term was cancelled for some trades students at Thompson Rivers University, leaving students worried about their graduation plans.

J.F. Cloutier, who is studying for his Red Seal Plumbing and Gas Fitting ticket at Thompson Rivers University, was hoping the cancelled term would be his last.

"If I could attend my fourth year this spring, which was supposed to be happening, I would be done with all my education," he told Daybreak Kamloops' Shelley Joyce.

"We're being told it's because there's a lack of students, but in our heads we're thinking it's because of a lack of teachers."

Cloutier said he was told teachers were being sent to a local secondary school to teach instead of at the university.

"We're left a little bit hanging dry," he said.

The school maintains there is no shortage of teachers, and the problem is there are only six students, which isn't enough students to fill the class.

"Having to be very financially responsible, because of looking after the public money, we just can't go on putting on classes when 3 or 4 people fill up," said Lindsey Langill, the dean of the School of Trades and Technology.

Langill said the mandate for the Industry Training Authority is to give students access to the classes they need to get their certificates within 13 months.

He said another class is scheduled to start Oct 23, which fits within that mandate.

Langill said the school has had a shortage of instructors in some trades, like heavy mechanics, but not for plumbing and gas fitting.

To hear the interview with TRU student J.F. Cloutier and Dean Lindsey Langill, click the audio labelled: TRU trades student blames staffing shortages for delaying his graduation by six months.