North Island College (NIC) will receive a grant of $150,000 from the Ministry of Advanced Education to assist with training for workers affected by the Neucel mill suspension in Port Alice.
The funding — which is aligned with B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint — supports towns and retrains workers affected by industry slowdowns or closures. A Community Transition Team is working with NIC to help identify the types of training that will best support future job prospects for Port Alice workers. Training will complement the skills and experience the workers already have, along with helping them develop new skills.
“Workers in Port Alice have faced some enormous challenges, and this funding will allow us to work with NIC and the community to create new job opportunities,” said Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson. “Post-secondary training is an invaluable tool to help people become job-ready so they can find their fit in our strong, growing and diverse economy.”
While NIC offers more than 900 courses and 70 credit programs across a variety of subject areas, NIC will specifically offer its marine training and coastal forest resource certificate programs for the affected workers, as both programs build on the skills the individuals already have and directly support employment transition.
“NIC is proud to offer the skills training needed to make student goals achievable,” said North Island College president John Bowman. “Funding through the Skills for Jobs Blueprint will help us align training for the workers of Port Alice so they can find success in future careers.”
The provincial government launched the B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint in April 2014 to align funding and programs with in-demand occupations. B.C. expects more than one million job openings by 2022; more than 78% of those jobs will require post-secondary education and 44% will be in skilled trades and technical occupations.
Stacey McGaghey Jones
Ministry of Advanced Education
Government Communications and Public Engagement